Many are not aware that football forms an integral part of the Mauritian culture. The English Premier League is especially appreciated by Mauritians. This passion for the English Championship has been passed on from generation to generation.
It was my father who indirectly influenced my love for this sport. Seeing his excitement every week whilst watching matches on the television was strangely pleasing. Now I find myself in the same boat, jumping with joy in front of my tv screen whilst encouraging my favourite team. Clearly I also know of several Mauritians who have fallen in love with the sport the same way I did.
Mauritians will follow their favourite team’s matches despite the 4 hour time difference with the UK. We willingly go with less hours of sleep so we can stay awake and watch until 2 am in the morning. All so we can encourage players who are separated from us by more than 9000 km. This is a true testament of love!!
Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the premier league was forced to take a 3 months’ break. Needless to speak of my disappointment when I learnt this terrible news! The only thing important at this time, was on which date the competition would once again grace my screen. However looking back, this was the best decision at the time to slow the spread of the virus.
Despite this obligatory pause, the love that I have for English football remains intact, same goes for the joy of teasing my friends, family and colleagues when we cross paths after their favourite team loses a match. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Premier League is like a much loved and followed telenovela for the football fans. Each will discuss and offer their opinions, analysis and ideas on the latest match.
The power of football is unimaginable, as it can unite and divide at the same time. It is not surprising to come across family members who support opposing teams. We love them but dislike them at the same time.
The extent to which Mauritians take football seriously can be seen after the victories of our favourite teams. We can hear fireworks and celebrations and one wouldn’t be mistaken to compare it to New Year ’s Eve.
This passion for the championship is surely part of the heritage that was left to us by the British. We must not forget that our small island of Mauritius was a British colony from 1810 to 1968. Despite our independence, aren’ t these the British footprints forever engraved on our shores?
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