When Worlds Collide #114: Welcome to UPF – United Planet of Football!

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today newspaper on 11 July 2014

football planet

Last time the FIFA World Cup was approaching its climax in mid July 2010, I did my bit for interstellar cooperation (or conquest).

If you’re an alien planning to invade the Earth, choose the day of the Cup Final, I said in an op-ed published on both sides of the Palk Strait. Chances are that our planet will offer little or no resistance, I predicted.

Well, no aliens took my unsolicited advice (such spoilsports!). But if any such race is still interested, another chance comes up this Sunday, July 13. That’s when World Cup 2014 will culminate at Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On that day, a sizeable proportion of the 7.2 billion members of the Earth’s dominant species – Homo sapiens, or humans — will be fully preoccupied with 22 able-bodied…

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