Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

When cup "fever' grips  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 08/07/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) ''If that had gone in, we would have been here till the morning,'' Waleed said, with a heavy sigh. 

It's 94 minutes into Argentina's quarterfinal clash with Belgium a little after 10.15pm and Messi just botched the coup de grace.

The result wouldn't have been little affected save, perhaps, for a more pleasing scoreline, but try telling Flea fans that a goal would have had mere aesthetic value. ''He's scored in every game (almost) and that would have put him at the top of the scorer board (wrong again),'' Waleed said. As it turned out, it didn't need a fifth Messi special to keep Waleed and his friends holed up at the shisha cafe in Sarooj until well past midnight.

spectators

File photo of people watching a night-time football match. Some employees have needed a break from work after the late games (Muscat Daily)

''He didn't have an assist either. He's not injured, is he'' Abdullah asked, eliciting sighs and web searches. The Sunday workday is as much of an afterthought as Argentina's first venture to the World Cup semifinals in 24 years. And that's being generous.

For near one month or since Messi scored that 65th minute winner against Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 16 workdays after Albiceleste matches have been sick days for Waleed and Abdullah, bank employees both.

''We weren't allowed to take annual leave during the World Cup,'' Waleed explained. That, and Messi's run of late, at-the-death, heroics (the instance above clocked in at around 3am), meant the debates and analyses would run well into the next day. As the scheduling would have it, the daybreak sit-downs after have, heretofore, been on weekdays. After the third joint sick day (or ''work at home day'') in two weeks coinciding with that brilliant curling free kick against Nigeria it's been unpaid leave.

Not that that's mattered. ''We wouldn't have been able to focus at work. We had to discuss Messi's delayed pass (the near-mythic la pausa final ball) to Angel di Maria for his (118th minute, or around 10pm) goal (in the pre-quarter clash) against Switzerland,'' Abdullah said.

''And his goal (91st minute) against Iran. That was beautiful.'' Waleed and Abdullah aren't alone in succumbing to what is literally the ''World Cup fever''.

According to a pre-tournament survey of 18,000 professionals in ten Middle Eastern countries by recruitment agency GulfTalent, over 50 per cent of respondents had planned to stay up late to watch their favourite teams play.

The next day, the poll showed, a third of all employees said they would go to work tired and one in ten would come in late. Nearly ten per cent would opt for a day of annual leave while three per cent said they were likely to call in sick.

Like Waleed and Abdullah (as also others in the group who declined to be interviewed). Admittedly the survey's numbers and sample group weren't Oman-specific. Though a few section heads and managers (in professions and positions that figured on the survey too) confirmed suspected World Cup-related absenteeism at workplaces around Muscat, none could attest to how accurate the percentages have been at this time.

''It's not unexpected. That survey only highlighted what we had already known,'' said a manager-level employee at an oil and gas major in the city. ''People calling in sick after the late matches, especially the ones which had the big teams, wasn't widespread but we did have a few instances.'' ''We have firm HR policies on this though and people got the message early and often. Anyway, it's not like we aren't fans either. The company has given a wide berth to employees discussing results and scenarios at the workplace. Within limits.''

A third of those polled said they would devote some time at work to going over match and group scenarios and moments that defined the tournament. ''There were Suarez memes. And after the Netherlands win (against Costa Rica), we had an e-mail go around with the Dutch team's fight song. Now that's just wrong,'' joked the manager, who has been cheering the Germans on from the Ramadan tent at the Marjan lounge, Grand Hyatt.

Outside, in the shadow of the Hyatt, the Candle Cafe offers a more low-key, but high-decibel, setting to take in the games. The nondescript beachfront joint has apparently been a favourite of Italian football fans. Joe, an intern at an architectural major, decided against skipping out on work after the Azzuri's crucial group match against England.

''I'm not eligible for leave, but I had to stay up for that match (start time 2am). Any Italy fan would have. It was worth going to work late,'' said Joe, who later found the bite in his favoured green mint tea victory drink too caustic following his team's exit at Uruguayan hands. Though he took satisfaction in ''Suarez having a worse taste in his mouth''.

For a time, Ahmed said, he was the ''lone Ronaldo jersey'' in Al Makan Cafe's ''yellow sea of Brazil supporters''. A junior partner at a financial consultancy, Ahmed knew he'd need a day off after Germany's thrashing of Portugal in their opening game.

''They wouldn't let me live it down. It would have only made things worse,'' said Ahmed, who took ribbing as he switched loyalties to the Brazilians after what he maintains was collusion between Germany and the US that kept Portugal and CR7' from progressing.

''Ronaldo was just coming into the zone. He had that amazing pass (the looping 95th minute assist which set up the leveller) against the US (despite the late finish, he did make it in to work). They were scared of him.'' The US got their comeuppance, he said, but ''Germany might get away with it now that Neymar is injured''.

''I may need a long leave (if they do). I'll be that angry.'' Likewise for Azaan, a law firm employee who spent the day after the French loss to Germany ''moping'' at work, humming the La Marseillaise down from martial bombast to mournful dirge.

''Thankfully, it's Ramadan and I get to leave early. Too many German fans at work.'' For Waleed and Abdullah, the reduced hours means, in theory, more time to recover for (and from) Argentina's games, both of which will be over before suhoor. But, Waleed said, ''Win or lose, I don't know (what I'll do).''

(Na


 






  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 20 2014 - Ex-minister in India refutes love child claimKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A former federal minister has denied the allegation made by a 47-year-old Gujarat-based widow that he had tied the knot with her in 2005 and is the father of her 19-year-old ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Intensive exhaustive household survey stalls TelanganaKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Nearly 400000 government employees teachers and student volunteers began the house-to-house survey at 7am in the city and at 8am in other parts of the state ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Surviving a typhoon in Leyte and rebuilding livesKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Its not yet a year since the worlds most devastating storm reached landfall and while aid workers began pulling out last month recovery efforts are far from over.It has been ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Pakistan army urges talks as protesters await political showdownKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Imran Khan the former cricket star and now chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and preacher Tahir Ul Qadri have led days of protests demanding the resignation of ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies of kidney failureKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Iyengar started his yoga school in 1973 in the western city of Pune developing a unique form of the practice that he said anyone could follow.BKS Iyengar the yoga guru who ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Japanese 111-year-old becomes oldest manKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Sakari Momoi a former high school principal who was born on February 5 1903 received a certificate from Guinness World Records confirming the ...

 Aug 20 2014 - Robin Williams suicide not plannedKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Confidante says actor was his usual self the day before Photo: AgenciesA confidante of Robin Williams says he did not plan his suicide.Tmz.com reports that the confidante of ...

 Aug 20 2014 - UAE- Beverage cups safe to use: Ministry of Environment and WaterKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) on Monday dismissed reports doing the rounds on social networking sites about drinking cups containing carcinogens as rumours and ...

 Aug 20 2014 - UAE- Khalifa University launches science and technology summer campKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Khalifa University has launched a new science technology engineering and mathematics (Stem) summer camp at its Abu Dhabi campus.The camp is expected to attract more than ...

 Aug 20 2014 - UAE- Sharjah conference to discuss ways to protect refugee kidsKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) It aims to put measures in place to ensure children and refugees in the Middle East and North Africa are protected from the danger of all forms of exploitation and ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help