World Cup Gets Mason Students’ Attention

Posted: June 15, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

Soccer fans around the world are focusing this month on the World Cup, which is taking place in Germany. While countless George Mason students are behind the U.S. team, students are cheering for teams from every continent, and many are rooting for their native home team.

The News Center in the Johnson Center on the Fairfax Campus has become a gathering place this week for soccer fans, who have been riveted while the games are broadcast three times a day, at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.

Students were polarized in their views of the competition during the broadcast of the Brazil vs. Croatia match on June 13. Most of the attention in the News Center focused on students’ impressions of Brazil’s team.

“I want Croatia to win just so Brazil can lose,” said Seymour Elrharraz, a junior majoring in finance. Elrharraz is from Morocco, which did not qualify for the World Cup.

“Croatia has a strong team. I think they have better defense then Brazil, so I expect Croatia to win,” said Sultan Behery, a senior majoring in computer science. Behery also planned to cheer for his native Saudi Arabia, which competed against Tunisia on Wednesday.

Students watching soccer games
The News Center on the Fairfax Campus has been a draw for Mason World Cup soccer fans this week. Damon’s Grill is also tuning into the games, and the three final games will be shown in the Johnson Center Cinema on July 5, 8 and 9.
Creative Services photo

Jaspreet Kochhar, a graduate student majoring in telecommunications, said he hopes Brazil wins the World Cup because he believes they are the most skilled.

“Brazil is the best team, has the best players, and they are the heavy favorites,” said Kochhar, who emigrated from India. While he would like to cheer for his native country, he noted, “India is not competing because they don’t have the players, infrastructure, all the support or unity.” He said cricket is the most popular sport in India, not soccer.

Lindsay Parker, who will be a Mason student in the fall, took a break from her job at the University Bookstore to watch Spain compete against Ukraine. While she is enjoying the entire tournament, Brazil is her favorite team. “I just love Brazil and all the African teams, too,” she said. Her native team, Sierra Leone, did not qualify for the global tournament.

Damon’s Grill on the Fairfax Campus will show every World Cup game during its operating hours, which are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “A lot of people are interested in it, and we get a good turnout for it,” said Kim Reed, general manager.

The tournament continues through July 9. The Johnson Center Cinema will show the final three World Cup matches on July 5 at 3 p.m., July 8 at 3 p.m. and July 9 at 2 p.m.

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