World Cup mania hits Warwick

With a campus host to over 120 nationalities, Warwick students will maintain divided loyalties during this World Cup.

According to statistics from the Students’ Union, most teams participating in the tournament are likely to find a support base within Warwick’s international community.

Only Paraguay, Uruguay, Honduras, North Korea and Algeria will not have a contingent of supporters within the Bubble.

The campus pub, the Dirty Duck, has been decorated with the flags of all the teams participating in the World Cup, although England flags remain in prominent positions.

Charli Fritzner, a second-year Management student, is Norwegian, Greek and Mexican, but will be primarily supporting Mexico. She laughed: “That’s the benefit of being international, I can pick and choose who to support. My team always wins.”

Gabriel Guigui, carrying a French flag and sporting a face-paint copy on his cheek during his team’s match against Uruguay on Friday, was uncertain of his country’s prospects. “I’ll be convinced if they win this match,” he commented at half time.

For students whose country did not qualify for this year’s tournament, the decision to support another country can come down to personal experience. Dan, a Scientific Computing PhD student, said: “I’m Welsh, but I’d quite like South Africa to win,” having travelled there on his gap year.

While, Linda, a Scottish student, was cheering for France as her “adopted country” because she had spent some time studying in the country.

Current affairs have even influenced some students’ affiliations. Andrew Ferguson, a Mathematics PhD student, said he would be rooting for anyone but the USA after President Barack Obama’s recent handling of British Petroleum and the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many students expressed their desire to see an African country do well, in a tournament hosted on that continent.

Warwick’s varied allegiances are well represented in the Students’ Union sabbatical team. Isaac Newton Acquah, Communications Officer, will be supporting Ghana, while Alex Twiss, Sports Officer, will maintain dual loyalties for England and the Netherlands.

Yet, Acquah foresees a problem, as Ghana could face England in the second round. “My concern is that if Ghana wins, I’ll be public enemy number one,” joked Acquah.

To enliven the tournament, some students are turning to charity sweepstakes or betting.

The Students’ Union have a charity pool where employees contribute a small amount of money to pull the name of a World Cup team out of a hat. Acquah picked Serbia, a team in Ghana’s group, but laughed, “This time I’m okay with losing the


Rhys Thomas, a third-year history student, has put money on a Spain-Brazil final with David Villa as overall top scorer, although he will support England.

Other students have chosen to support the long shot. Julian Williams placed a £10 bet on underdogs, New Zealand.

With odds of 2000/1, he would be the lucky recipient of £20,000 if New Zealand were to put together a World Cup winning streak. Williams commented: “If they win, I’ll be laughing.”


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