Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Germany or Brazil? - Four local sports administrators evenly divided

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer
Japan’s Takashi Inui (left) and Paraguay’s Alan Benitez challenge for the ball during the friendly match between Japan and Paraguay in the Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck, Austria yesterday. Japan won 4-2.

Four leading local sports administrators are split down the middle between defending champions Germany and five-time winners Brazil a day before the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the 81,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Hosts Russia will face Saudi Arabia in the opening match.

Jamaica Boxing Board of Control secretary Leroy Brown and Jamaica Cricket Association President Wilford 'Billy' Heaven have picked Germany to become repeat champions, while Jamaica Golf Association President Peter Chin and Jamaica Volleyball Association boss Rudolph Speid have put their support behind Brazil.

Brown, like many Jamaicans, is a diehard Brazil fan but he feels Germany will emerge champions when the final is played on July 15.

"Deep down in my heart, I am a Brazil man. They give you memories that you never forget. They are the team I am looking forward most to watch. I personally think that the Germans will be methodical and the team that is most organised. Germany are the team most likely to win and I think that the Germans will win the World Cup.

Heaven admitted that he has been a long-time supporter of the Germans.

"Germany have been my international team. Brazil have a young team with some gifted players, and there are other teams also in the reckoning. However, I am going with Germany because of their style of play, that kind of long-ball thing. They are able to find others from a distance and the have resolute players who don't give up. Those are the qualities that I really admire in the Germans."

Chin, a versatile sportsman who has played hockey, football and did some athletics way back in the 1970s, strongly believes that the Brazilians have the team to win this year.

"I would say on paper that Brazil are the strongest team. They have a solid all-round team. I have never backed Brazil in a World Cup in the past. However, based on the team that they have now they will be difficult to beat. Brazil are solid in the goalkeeping area, defence, midfield and forward line," Chin said.

Speid, who is also the boss at Red Stripe Premier League outfit Cavalier, is solidly behind Brazil, and he added that their star player Neymar will shine at the tournament.

"I am going with Brazil. They have no weaknesses and top man Neymar is a player that doesn't choke. I have never seen him choke in any competition. Brazil are certainly the strongest team at the World Cup," Speid said.