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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

The Brazilian passion for football lives on undimmed

Our readers have their say on football, Kashmir, summer heat and Pakistan

A Brazil fan looks dejected after Brazil's World Cup loss. Sergio Perez / Reuters
A Brazil fan looks dejected after Brazil's World Cup loss. Sergio Perez / Reuters

I write in reference to Brazil’s exit from the World Cup, specifically your article Neymar: Returning to football will be ‘hard’ after Brazil’s World Cup woe (July 7). I am heartbroken at Brazil’s departure, but the squad should have played better. Brazilians are very passionate about football, which is the most important activity in that country. Today, the average Brazilian is far more obsessed with football than with inflation. The national team has always prioritised magic and beauty in their play.

But now Brazil’s charming football has competition from stronger and more able skills from Europe. In its defeat to Belgium, Brazil had 59 per cent possession of the ball, 27 shots (nine on target) and eight corners. However the strikers were shooting the ball around and over the goalposts, rather than into the net.

The problem is that while Brazil play football as though it were an art form, the world has reduced the sport to a collective team science. Naturally the team with the “scientific” performance wins. The country must be totally devastated, just like me, a fan of Brazilian football. Never mind, as Humbert Wolfe wrote, “If it must be so, let’s not weep nor complain/ If I have failed, or you, or life turned sullen / We have had these things, they do not come again / But the flag still flies and the city has not fallen”.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Air-conditioning makes summer more tolerable

I refer to your article Think it’s hot in the UAE? Spare a thought for muggy Montreal and boiling Belfast (July 7): The heat is simply intolerable without air-conditioning. I remember when we had no air-conditioning and had to wear a wet t-shirt to fall asleep.

Yulia Hulia, Dubai

Pakistan’s judiciary is finally curbing political corruption

I write in response to the article Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 Years for corruption (July 6). The recent verdict of the corruption court in Pakistan handed Sharif, a three-time former prime minister, the prison term as well as a hefty fine of Dh39 million.

This might appear shocking or punitive, but is, in my view, a good development for Pakistan’s politics. It is very evident that corruption and the acquisition of assets disproportionate to incomes by politicians and members of the establishment have been a bane of Pakistan, and cases such as this are the outcome. The judiciary exists as a check on power. It has finally done its job here.

K Ragavan, Denver

The tragedy of Kashmir, a truly beautiful place

I am writing in reference to your article Summer thaw brings landmines in Pakistani Kashmir (July 6): this is really sad. Kashmir is a beautiful place. I was there in 2015.

Khuram Bhatti, Ontario

We are living in deeply dangerous times

In reference to your article ‘America first’ is quickly turning into America alone (July 8), I couldn’t agree more. We are living in very dangerous times.

Name withheld by request