Tomorrow, England face Belgium in “the game that no one wants to play in”: the third-place play-off of the FIFA World Cup. Of course, nobody would choose to lose in a semi-final and then be forced to degrade themselves in a match which is, in effect, a glorified and largely pointless friendly.
However, getting to the semi-finals and then going out is nothing to be ashamed of. And I’m not just saying that because I’m English. It is a phenomenal achievement and ranks you among the elites of the sport. Furthermore, a medal is of course up for grabs. Okay, it may be bronze and not gold, but it is still a medal.
So, to recognise that winning the third-place play-off is indeed an achievement to be proud of, I suggest we change its name of the match to something catchier, something which reflects the respect which it deserves: The Bronze Final.
But to the unfortunate loser of this match? I think a souvenir mug with Sepp Blatter’s face printed on it would be a nice consolation prize.
© 2018 Bryan A. J. Parry
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