World Cup kicks off summer of multicultural fun

Flying the flag for Angola.

Of greater personal concern than the outcome of the general election is the fact that where I live the BNP came fourth.

They finished behind, respectively, the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour and ahead of the English Democrats and the trailing Greens.

That means 1,583 voters were of the view that neither the English Democrats nor sitting MP David Davis were sufficiently right-wing. Which in turn makes you wonder whether such individuals should be entrusted with anything so sharp as a polling station pencil.

Thankfully relief and some joy came at the weekend with the arrival, just over the border, of the first Hull World Cup.

A community organisation called the Goodwin Development Trust came up with the idea. Their aim was to assemble 16 teams; they attracted 20. Local residents represented the home nations, eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

As a mini-festival of international football, food and music it was a good start. To develop into a bigger event embracing the wider community Goodwin needs to expand the off-field activities beyond the handful of tents and food vans present on Saturday, but with a promise of 30 teams for next year the signs are encouraging. There is even talk of expanding nationally.

No one should really be surprised by the success. Hull has an image problem, but one created by a failure to balance the negative publicity with a few column inches about some of the good stuff. Many people think Hull is rough, or they don’t think about it at all.

And the city does have a decent heritage when it comes to tolerance, stretching back through its years as a major port to the beginnings of the 19th century when the locally-born William Wilberforce led the abolition of the slave trade.

There’s more to come with the Springboard music festival (www.springboardfestival.org) about to attract more than 170 performers on the weekend of 28 May to eight or nine stages in six pubs in the nearby village of Cottingham. And on 5 June back in Hull the Vista festival (www.princesavenuehull.co.uk) promises more multicultural fun with live bands and some workshops from the award-winning Hull Truck Theatre.

Meanwhile back at the football the standard was mixed, much like the real thing. England as hosts had the strongest support, DR Congo the coolest shirts with light-blue and red sleeves, Ghana the brightest hat and the most passion, singing their anthem before every game they played.

Stereotypes did kick-in to a degree. The African nations had individuals capable of brilliance but lacked depth, England had a man sent off early in their first game and Scotland caused more of a surprise when their result against Latvia was corrected to a win than when it was originally announced as a defeat. For the record the Kurdish team beat Iraq in the final.

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Filed under By Phil Ascough, Election, Football, Music, Uncategorized

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