Quotes: 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


 


Muscat Daily




  MENA News Headlines
 Mar 5 2015 - Saudi, South Korea consider trade expansionMENAFN
(MENAFN) South Korean President announced that Korea and Saudi must try to diversify commercial cooperation with an emphasis on nuclear energy, renewable energy, education and health care, Arab News ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Etisalat plans to invest USD1.08b in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, also known as etisalat, is planning to invest USD952.7 to USD1.08 billion this year on its infrastructure, fiber optic and 4G networks as well as to ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Qatar seeks 7 percent growth in 2015 despite oil plungeMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's economy is expected to grow 7 percent in 2015, as it forges ahead with huge infrastructure investment despite the drop in oil prices, leading economist said.The figure compares with ...

 Mar 5 2015 - French Assystem acquires 75 percent in Saudi RadiconMENAFN
(MENAFN) Assystem completed the acquisition of 75 percent stake in the Saudi Radicon Gulf Consult (Radicon) to create a new engineering offer in the Saudi market nominated Assystem Radicon, Saudi ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Dutch Vopak to expand Fujairah oil storage capacity in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Dutch Vopak is set to build five crude oil storage tanks with total capacity of 478,000 cubic meters at the port of Fujairah in the UAE, Reuters reported.Vopak is already in a partnership ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Saudi Kingdom Holding signs MoU with Korean Investment CorporationMENAFN
(MENAFN) Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), signed an MoU with Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), Saudi Gazette reported.The MoU is set at producing more opportunities in private equity ...

 Mar 5 2015 - UAE to grant USD2b loan to CroatiaMENAFN
(MENAFN) Croatia is considering a USD2 billion loan from the UAE to help financing its current debt and reestablishing its collapsed economy, Arabian Business reported.Successive governments have ...

 Mar 5 2015 - UAE's Etisalat launches local search engine in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) UAE's Etisalat launched a UAE-specific search engine, nominated Connect.ae, which is the first in the country and it is labelled as a fully-digital and multiplatform search service, Emirates ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Bahraini Bapco, EMC sign agreementMENAFN
(MENAFN) Bapco and US-based EMC signed an agreement through which the Bahraini company gets a centralized, tapeless backup environment using EMC's 'next generation data protection solutions', Gulf ...

 Mar 5 2015 - Bahraini Batelco Group, Canadian Star Solutions sign partnership agreementMENAFN
(MENAFM) Batelco Group signed an agreement with Star Solutions in which the Canadian company is set to implement GSM/LTE mobile networks for Batelco Group's operations in the South Atlantic region, ...

more...


 






Google

Internatinal Property Show

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help