Kickoff!

Hong Kong is huge on soccer. It should therefore come as no surprise that this upcoming World Cup is already stirring quite a hype in this city!

First of all, it’s actually called football here rather than soccer. Hong Kong is a British colony after all… but then again, so is Canada. I guess us Canadians have our own separate culture. And whether people play soccer or not, it literally seems like everyone watches it. Funny enough, despite me being a soccer player for so many years, I don’t really watch soccer at all. Years back when I used to play competitively, I would spend more time trying to improve myself watching Premier League stuff. Nowadays, I play soccer for fun, and soccer is too boring of a sport for me. Anyway, when other people ask me why I don’t watch soccer, I tell them I’m more into fast-paced hockey. The reply I usually get is that hockey is too violent, or they can’t see the puck, or they just don’t know what’s going on in general. I guess they’re right; soccer is such a straight-forward sport, it’s hard to not understand (although in  my opinion, that’s also what makes it boring).

Since this is such a popular event among the people here, of course there are a lot of World Cup themed promotions going out. 7-11 is doing LINE characters for the World Cup this year, instead of the usual Minna no Tabo. At least that means I have one less set of toys to collect! McDonalds always releases Hello Kitty figurines just randomly, but this term they’re all soccer related. TVB was airing special shows just to keep up with the status in Brazil, and now that the games have actually started, they’re airing highlights and commentary segments. The main point is, this city has been overcome with World Cup madness.

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What’s more, all the product packaging has been adapted to attract soccer fans – especially for things such as beer and chips (ie. snack food for the games). Even for a non-fan like me, the unique appearance of these products is enough to catch my attention. Although then again, I don’t know if that’s saying much, especially since I’ve always been a sucker for these kinds of things.

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Funny enough, the Olympic Games (which I love to follow) don’t seem to be as big here. But this particular sporting event, dedicated to only one sport and spanning almost a month – it’s able to catch the love of most people in this city. Even if they have no time for anything else, they’ll still make time for the game. I don’t even know if I will end up interested in watching the final!

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