Soccer Fever Takes Peru

The sun broke through the clouds to day in Cusco, and figuratively in all of Peru. Today the playoffs game with New Zealand will be fought. As never, Peruvians talk today about geography. They know where they are and how their opponent plays, the time difference, and the Maori welcome dance of New Zealand, the haka, a warrior dance that challenges us.

I wonder how football can make us forget the corruption of our governments, the lack of ethics and inequities. Today we are all one Peru. This reminds me of a poem by the poet Jovaldo of the 80s, which says: “from so much football every day, they have us ball-brained or half-sentence, we will say sadly … coooo … mpanions”.

Old fight songs are recycled such as the “Peru champion” of Mexico 70 ‘, “Peru champion Peru champion is the cry that the fans repeat … with Rubiños in the arc, the defense is colossal …. Cubillas, Chumpitaz and the great Lion Perico.” Now we say with “Gallese in the goal, the defense is colossal … Cueva … Guerrero complete the selection”.

The whole country is dressed in white and red. In the Gamarra emporium, the largest in Peru, red and white fabrics were exhausted. There are no T-shirts in the national colors nor Peruvian flags. They are sold out after a great boom in sales. At least there was economic movement in that area.

All awoke today with their red and white shirts, their cars with flags. Some bus drivers announce their route as “Saylla, Tipón, Russia” announcing in this way the hope of reaching a World Cup after 30 years.

Today memes express joy, as well as the mischief of the Peruvians. But, above all, political cartoons predict our former president, Fujimori, will be released from prison under cover of the game, taking advantage of the soccer fever. Some in social networks say: “alert, alert, No to a pardon!”

Still, today, everything is hope and joy. A fever has claimed Peru …
With great hope, I say “Peru champion”, “Up with Peru …. damnit”, but without corruption or violence.

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