SAO PAULO – The ongoing World Cup is proving to be more than just a soccer fiesta as many organised groups from various parts of the world have been using the global fiesta to initiate social campaigns aiming at correcting anomalies.
The campaigns have been aimed at highlighting peculiar plight in the society and efforts at re-addressing concerns as well as explaining polices or misconceptions.
Brazil’s Federal Government had been using the forum provided by the World Cup to highlight its accomplishments, and programmes aimed at improving social welfare of its citizen.
Some the issues bother on racial discriminations and the positive efforts aimed at bridging racial divide.
In the same vein, some interest groups from Nigeria had since their arriving in Brazil for the World’s most glamorous sporting spectacle, been hosted by a nation with pedigree in soccer.
They have been striving to sell various campaigns in solidarity with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some of such groups from Nigeria have been sending out strong messages in a bid to rally international support toward the Federal Government and people of Nigeria, currently fighting the menace of insurgency, a major local programme that had assumed international dimension.
It was a matter of interest to read banners being promoted by the group of stakeholders, urging the world to unite against the Boko Haram insurgency. “World Unites Against Boko Haram’’ was one banner spotted at some venues of the World Cup.
The group had also been giving out T-shirts with such inscriptions and unveiling banners that were being conspicuously displayed at virtually all the 12 world cup venues in Brazil.
One of the stakeholders for the campaign, who pleaded anonymity, explained that the campaigns were aimed at sharing the dreams and aspirations of a president, with an honest intention, but largely misunderstood and misrepresented.
There is also another group known as the “Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN)”, with campaigns patterned after the President Jonathan’s programme of transformation agenda.
“Our vision is a commitment toward further creating awareness of the programmes of the President in transforming the country. ’’
Television coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is still breaking viewing records during the first round of group matches in Brazil, highlighting the growing popularity of the competition and football around the world.
While the opening matches set new audience high for 2014 all over the world, fans watched in record numbers in countries such as Brazil, Japan, Germany, the U. K., Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy.
However, an all-time high was set in the French-speaking part of Belgium.
Here are some of the key figures:
• 42.9 million watched Brazil and Croatia on Brazilian channel TV Globo, the highest sports broadcast of 2014
• England and Italy’s opener attracted 14.2 million on BBC1 in the UK and 12.8 million on RAI 1, the highest TV audiences in both countries in 2014
• 34.1 million watched Japan play Côte d’Ivoire on Japanese channel NHK, twice the size of the next biggest sports broadcast of 2014
• Germany’s win over Portugal reached 26.4 million on ARD in Germany, the biggest 2014 TV sports audience
• 11.1 million watched the USA v. Ghana match on ESPN in the United States – a record high for ESPN’s coverage of men’s FIFA World Cup matches
Of the 26 of the 64 matches by the 32 teams to the ongoing FIFA World Cup, teams have been scoring an average of three goals per match since the start of the ongoing World Cup on June 12.
The referees have also been recording an average of 0.2 red cards per match as well as an average of 2.9 red, yellow cards while there has been not less than 387 average passes per team.
The World Soccer governing body also established an actual playing time of 71.2 on the average per match. (NAN)