The USA is ranked 5th??
Although my son is an avid soccer player, and we enjoy watching his games intensely, I have to admit that like most Americans, I don’t follow professional soccer too closely. An exception for me, however, is the World Cup. I usually do follow this huge event and enjoy watching it and tracking the teams.
The USA has qualified again for the World Cup this year. Perennially, the team has been considered a joke around the world even though they did manage to cling to life in enough games in 2002 to squeak into the quarterfinals.
This year, they are not considered a joke at all. The team has improved to the point that FIFA has them tied for fifth place in the rankings as the teams head into the Cup. The main reason the USA Team is so highly regarded is not so much for the individual skills of its players, but because they are known to be one of the most superbly conditioned teams in the world. Their players have been willing to submit to training regimens that some of the prima donna, highly paid stars in the European leagues would not allow themselves to be subjected to.
FIFA’s world rankings before the World Cup.
2 Czech Republic
Even with that high ranking, the USA has a tough road ahead of it. It starts out in one of the most difficult groups, with Italy, Ghana, and the Czech Republic. Tough teams to beat, every one of them.
High ranking or not, the USA is considered a long-shot (90-1)to win the Cup. Here are the current favorites among the oddsmakers:
Czech Republic: 25-1
Now, for the darker side of the cup... Our friend Paula has posted here about moral relativism in Germany, and while some Germans are worried that the behavior of Neo-Nazi hooligans might embarrass the Germans in hosting the World Cup, the bigger story might be in the human trafficking that is expected to occur.
Importing 40,000 Sex workers for the World Cup? Is Germany out of control?
Prostitution is legal in Germany, and for the World Cup, it is expected that in addition to the 400,000 legal prostitutes already working in Germany, an expected 40,000 additional “sex workers” will be imported/lured/drawn/coerced into coming to Germany to meet the expected “demand”.
Human sex trafficking and slavery is one of the world’s most under-reported problems. Thousands and thousands of Eastern European and Asian girls and women are being manipulated and abused in this world-wide scourge, often to meet the tastes of men in the West.
Some people here and abroad advocate the legalization of prostitution. How can a moral case ever be made for it? I know that there are woman who say that they do this of their own free will without coercion. Can that ever really be true? I find it hard to fathom or believe that a woman could ever do this without severe moral, social, psychological and physical trauma. I have three daughters of my own. If anyone should ever suggest to them the viability of this as a “career choice”, the consequences for that person would be most unpleasant.
What can the Germans be thinking?
Here is an NPR radio story on Concerns Over World Cup's Impact on German Sex Trade, and a BBC video piece.
Here are some anti-human trafficking links:
Nuns show the red card to forced World Cup prostitution (CATW)
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)