BHS prepares for FIFA World Cup


Oscar Jacobsen, Staff Writer

BHS has students that come from 49 different countries. For many of them, soccer is more than just a sport. 

“It’s like you’re representing that whole country,” Innocent Ndikuriyo ‘23 said. “There’s a lot at stake. And because of that everyone just gets so passionate.” 

Soccer is the largest sport in the world, and the World Cup is among the most prestigious competitions. As a result, countries are extremely invested in the tournament, creating energy which many feel is unmatched by other sporting events.

There’s nothing like the Olympics and World Cup that bring every country together.”

— Daniel Gavin

“There’s nothing like the Olympics and World Cup that bring every country together,” Daniel Gavin, German teacher, said. “But honestly, even more than the Olympics, soccer is just one sport that the whole world- literally the entire world- focuses on during this time.”

French and Spanish teacher, Mariu Govea, will be rooting for her home country Ecuador. Govea has many traditions surrounding the World Cup.  

“Everybody participates,” Govea said. “We watch it on TV, we wear the [jerseys]… we eat food right in front of the TV and we cry, we dance, we go out- we do a lot of crazy things.”

Many also appreciate the high intensity and level of play the tournament offers.

“There’s no comparison here [in the US].” Gavin said. “Soccer is growing each year, but the fever in Germany, it’s electric.”

Ndikuriyo agreed.

“I just wanted to see some really good games because the level of the World Cup is just so much better than at the club level,” Ndikuriyo said. “Everyone is just so much more invested.”

This high level of competition means that the U.S. Men’s National Team has never won a World Cup and didn’t qualify for the previous World Cup in 2018.

“It’s kind of sad that our country isn’t that good, but at the same time we haven’t been good for a really long time. So I’m pretty used to it,” Ndikuriyo said. “But you know, you always want your team to succeed,” Ndikuriyo said.” When they don’t, it just sucks.” 

Alternatively, the U.S. Women’s National team is considered the best in the world and have won four out of the eight world cups that have been held. 

“I mean it’s a disappointment [our U.S. Men’s team], but also our Women’s team was good,” Vivian Halladay ‘24 said. “People care more about the women’s team than the men’s team.”

Most soccer tournaments occur annually while the World Cup only happens every four years. This World Cup will likely be the last for many renowned players including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Watching these stars play their final national games is a highlight for many students.

“I’m really hoping that they have really good World Cups,” Ndikuriyo said. “I hope Messi wins it.”

This World Cup this year is being held in Qatar which is a very hot country on the Arabian Peninsula. The tournament is typically held in late summer, but due to the high temperatures in Qatar, it was postponed until late November.

“It definitely sucks. I can’t just be home during the summer watching with people. I have to worry about school on top of that,” Ndikuriyo said. “I may be watching the World Cup while I’m in class.”

The tournament begins with a match between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20.