Our Families & the Coupe De Monde [Archives:1998/29/Culture]

July 20 1998

The World Cup Football Tournament of France 1998 was no doubt a very exciting occasion for football lovers all over the world. People remain glued to their TV sets to watch the matches and to listen carefully to the analyses given by seasoned football captins. On the other hand, this occasion created problems for some families, especially in Yemen where it associated with bad habits such as chewing much qat and smoking cigarettes.
Most women and children in Yemen do not like watching football matches at all. On the other side, men very eagerly wait for the matches, every one betting on his favorite team’s winning. They try to finish all their work before the match starts. And to be ready to watch the match, they eat their dinner quickly and then start chewing qat just before the match kicks off. We met some of these men and asked them about how their life went on during the football world cup:
Person no. 1:
Watching football matches does not create any problems at my home. My wife and I watch them together and everyone supports his own team. Concerning qat, I always chew qat from 3pm until 6pm. I do not chew qat at night. I smoke cigarettes only during the afternoon matches when I’m outside the house.
At night, I do not smoke cigarettes because I don’t want to cause any health problems to my children. I usually take my dinner half an hour before the match starts.
And to let nothing disturb me while watching the match, I asked my wife if she wants me to do any shoppping before that. As the match starts, I remain in front of the television until it finishs. My wife does not love football matches much unless it is a world competition such as the world cup.
Person no.2:
I’m not married. I love football very much. During the world cup this year, I ran very organized program with my companions. We buy qat after leaving work and then we go to have lunch. After lunch, we gather in the house of any of us. We start chewing qat before the afternoon football match starts.
At 6:30, we stop having qat to do the sunset prayers. After that, we go to the qat market and buy qat. We then have our supper and start chewing qat again before the second match starts. We also smoke cigarettes, much more than we do usually. Every one of us smokes nearly 3 packets during a match!
Person no. 3:
I love football competitions very much, especially world cup. I always try to have my supper before the match starts. If not, I remain nervous and restless all the time.
If the team I support is defeated, I cannot sleep all night. I chew qat and I smoke cigarettes heavily during the matches. I usually prefer to watch the matches with my friends during qat sessions because I become more excited and interested.
I don’t have any kind of problems at home because of watching matches. If my wife wants me to by something during the match, I would ask her to wait until the match finishes. If she insists, I just go quickly, but then, I remain anxious all the time. Anyway, my wife and children love football and watch the matches with me.
By Khairiah Al-Shibeebi