THE idea of earning quick money is very tempting for many people and this is the reason why gambling seems to be the best option, but people should not be oblivious to the fact that it is a quick way for losing money too.
If the human race can learn, most probably this is exactly what those who placed their bets on different teams in the ongoing 2022 Qatar World Cup so far would attest to.
The strict rules on etiquette in Qatar is most probably not the only unfamiliar thing about the global football showcase as the 2022 World Cup has come with so many surprises that gamblers, just like any of us, did not see coming.
Surely, this World Cup was not for the bookmakers’ favourites!
The 2-1 Samurai Blue triumph in the group match pitting Japan and German is one of the encounters that will go down in World Cup history as one of the major surprises.
Not many punters had envisaged the Die Mannschaft, as the Germany national team is known, would succumb to defeat at the hands of perceived minnows who are known more for technological inventions than football.
Argentina’s defeat to Saudi Arabia is also another surprise result that left punters in dejection as it was little expected.
Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina in the World Cup Qatar 2022 with a 2-1 victory over Lionel Messi’s side, prompting an outpour of Arab pride, amid the first staging of soccer’s top tournament in the Middle East.
The result was not a surprise to the punters, but the Arabs and the whole world as well to the extent that King Salman declared a public holiday in Saudi Arabia last week on Wednesday to mark the achievement, a feather in the cap of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who recommended the royal order according to state media.
How Morocco got the better of mighty Belgium at Qatar 2022 is also a puzzle that punters can hardly explain.
At the end of the match, it was not only Kevin De Bryne who spoke with his body instead of his words, constantly throwing his arms around in frustration and flapping his hands in unconcealed annoyance, but punters too.
Even the post-match analysis unravelled Belgium’s waning fortunes with pundits noting that for Belgium, the passage of time has gradually removed the shine from their golden generation.
The Belgium players too, accept this to be true, with skipper, Eden Hazard admitting that Belgium had their best chance of glory four years ago and their decline could be seen by anyone who watched this match.
More importantly, of their starting 11 at Qatar 2022, seven are in their thirties.
The match pitting Uruguay and South Korea was also a sucker punch to many gamblers.
Uruguay and South Korea tested each other in a high-paced game that ultimately lacked a killer finish, ending in a goalless draw as the two sides kicked off their World Cup campaign.
Being contemporary global football heavyweights, especially at the World Cup stage, none had expected little South Korea to stand the heat.
The list goes on!
Punters who spoke to Post Sport, said they got it all wrong by sticking to historical credentials of the teams without any consideration for current form and unity of purpose in their respective squads.
Willis Bengula said: “It is sad that we only went to bet thinking that there would be very few, if any, surprises. It has never been like this before. No-one would imagine the Argentines losing to Saudi Arabia, not in their wildest dreams.”
Joana Sithole said: “I could not believe my eyes when Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia. I placed a bet in favour of Argentina and I was so confident that I would get something out of it, but such is the game of football. It is full of surprises.”
Jesman Hlatshwayo said: “I know there are surprises in any sport, especially football, but this World Cup has been something else. You would think that some of the matches were fixed. The results were just a world apart from general expectations.”
Indeed, some of the Qatar 2022 World Cup match results were a world apart from what the world was used to!