SUJIT DE, KOLKATA
World Cup football champion France rewrote the famous song ‘Ebony and Ivory’ in their own way – Ebony and Ivory live together in harmony side by side not only on my piano but also on a football ground. Indeed, France has shown that fraternité is the most essential thing for the success of a country. Antoine Griezmann, who was named Man of the Match of the World Cup final, said, “We have different origins, but we are all united. We are many players with different backgrounds but we have the same goal, we wear the same jersey and we work for each other.” Let France enjoy their cup of joy which they really deserve. And let us learn the lesson that united we stand, divided we fall. Another important lesson of the World Cup football is that a country needs to improve its score in human development indices to excel in whatever field it wants to. All the countries that reached the semi-final stage of this World Cup belong to very high human development category (1 to 51) with England enjoying 16th position (score : 0.909) in human development index rank, France at 21st (0.897), Belgium at 22nd (0.896) and Croatia at 45th (0.827) position. While these are surely the ingredients of winning, another important thing to learn is how accepting defeat can be more graceful than winning. Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic travelled to Russia to watch World Cup matches dressed in the colours of their national flag. After Croatia lost the final against France, she hugged not only every member of her own team but also every member of her opponent winning team and more importantly she hugged even the referee, who awarded a controversial penalty in favour of France which was converted into a goal against Croatia. Croatia captured our hearts not only by their footballers’ display of triumphant strength against glamorous teams but also by their President’s display of grace after defeat.