(inputs from Kartik Anand)
In the age of innovations, it is interesting how FIFA has lamely tried to emulate cricketer Matthew Hayden for the 2010 World Cup starting today. In the star-studded opening ceremony, the FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced that the Jabulani, the official soccer ball for the World Cup is actually a mongoose testis (informally called “ball”). Hayden had earlier received huge media attention when he used bats termed “mongoose bats” during the 2010 season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Blatter told the audience, “FIFA proudly announces its association with Adidas for this World Cup. Mongoose testes have been used to manufacture the official Jabulani ball for the Cup. A rubber coating has been beautifully done to give the testis the shape of the football. We have decided to use the mongoose balls for future international matches also. This will help the sport get some more popularity among the cricket-following population, since they have been quite gaga over the mongoose bat for some months now. And the whole idea of mongoose balls in football was just fabulous!”
This has created a worry among wildlife experts about the extinction of the mongoose, since the testes are an integral reproductive organ of most mammals, and they have said using them for sporting purposes is unethical. “If you start using mongoose testes for playing and kicking around, you should be doomed. The whole mongoose community will go extinct one day. You not only inflict pain on the mongoose whose balls you take, but you also kill the number of the species it would give birth to, later on! Especially, the Chinese mongoose, where one mongoose is able to give birth to hundreds of newborns in its lifetime, despite the two-child norm. What would you feel like if mongooses started cutting out your balls to play their own entertainment games?” questioned US zoologist Richard Stevens.
The football stars, whom fans expect to watch kicking mongoose balls on the field, are worried. “Even the mongoose is smaller than the normal football, what to expect of their balls?” said Cristiano Ronaldo. Footballers whose wives/girlfriends (WAGs), who wag behind them as if they are their tails, are PETA (People for Ethical Treatment Against Animals) activists, have expressed that their partners might come out naked on the field to protest during matches. Animal-loving footballers have requested a new football be used. Whereas, a the team from North Korea, a lesser team in the tournament, terrified of big teams as they are featuring in the tournament after many years, has found an excuse to threaten to pull out of the tournament.