The World Cup 2018 is well into the second round with some teams already heading towards the exit door with the remaining fixture a mere formality but this is a season that has on many occasions left women in tears.
To most women this has never been a season to look forward to as they are abandoned by their spouses for the love of sports.
The question here is, why should something that brings so much joy be the same cause for misery to others?
Women’s tales about football will always, vary from the joy of the Iranian women finally being allowed to watch soccer alongside men to the agony of those whose husbands didn’t return until the next day.
It is 3 a.m. Sarah Jonathan is half asleep and alone in the house because her husband is yet to return from watching a football game which must have ended some three hours earlier.
She reaches out for her phone to call her husband only to be greeted by some deafening noise at a place she thinks is a night club somewhere in the city, the only problem is that she can’t tell where exactly.
Two days later he feigned an arrest by the traffic police claiming he had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol – none of the stories seem to make sense at all to Sarah.
This has been happening ever since the World Cup kicked off in Russia irrespective of the day of the week, his main excuse is that after the games they stay behind to discuss the key moments of the game with his friends.
But as much as this is taking a its toll on Sarah and at some point she thought she was alone, it is not an isolated case as many women have found themselves in this lonely situation and it gets worse when African teams play.
Nancy a workmate thought she was well prepared by buying a decoder so that her husband Timothy can watch the games at home, only to be told such games were enjoyable in the company of other men.
“I had to pay for the premium package but the days he has watched the games at home are as countable as the goals scored by African teams and when he is at home he is always very moody,” says Nancy.
She adds: “On the second day of the tournament since it was a Friday I offered to watch the game with him at his favourite joint but the kind of company that I was subjected to was quite odd.” She has vowed not to go back.
She could not understand most of what was going on such as the VAR, a video assistance referee system which the men were clamouring for plus many other things that she considers ‘silly’.
“There were several boys around who were carrying several betting slips during the Spain versus Portugal game, this was a clear indication that they were not there for footballing reasons,” she says.
And the social media has been abuzz over all the sorts of new rules that have been imposed on women in certain homes during the games.
On social media, a number of “rules” have been doing the rounds on how women should behave during the World Cup season.
“Non-soccer conversations shall not be tolerated within regulation, injury, extra time or during penalties,” says one.
“There shall be no comments about Cristiano Ronaldo’s looks. Professionalism shall remain an absolute part of the World Cup,” says another.
“Repeats and highlights are as good as the main match, so I’m going to watch them. Don’t you bother to switch the channel,” states yet another.
Then another rule: “We can watch Africa Magic provided actors and actresses are wearing soccer jerseys and they are in Russia.”
To those whose men have decide to stay at home, they can no longer watch their favourite soap opera because the only thing that is being watched on TV is football and football news!
But the tournament, one of the biggest sport showpieces in the globe, will affect more than relations in the family according to some people.
But if you thought this was all about football then you got it all very wrong.
You have all heard how they go to bars to discuss ideas, this season men will stay up late in the name of football sometimes to the extent that they can hardly remember the score line.
Some individuals are likely to take advantage of games being aired at night to cheat on their spouses. But it appears it is not only men who capitalise on the opportunity.
Miriam who has been following football for quite a while now was left spellbound when her husband returned at home in the wee hours, he could not remember the scores neither could he remember the teams that had played.
“Imagine he was talking about how USA beat Nigeria 3-0 yet the US didn’t qualify for the tournament,” says Miriam a mother of two.
Her conclusion was that her man was out attending to business that was not related to football
The Telegraph newspaper reports that ahead of the 2014 World Cup, there was a surge in the number of women using a site where people seek no-strings-attached relationships.
The paper quoted the website spokesman saying there was a 67 per cent rise in female activity on the site in the months leading up to the football event.
For love’s sake
But there are those who won’t take any nonsense for they believe men are using the global showpiece to promote their philandering ways.
They are playing fitting in despite the unfriendly atmosphere that surrounds the game and the spectators.
Neema thinks Belgium are the team to wrestle away the trophy from the Germans and she is well equipped with the necessary information about Hazard and the rest of the team.
She has also taken keen interest in learning some of the laws including the use of the controversial Video Assistant Referee.
“After what happened during the Brazil tournament, I decided to learn a few things about football because that is the only way how we can co-exist in this house,” says Neema.
On the day of the final match, her husband disappeared only to return after two days claiming he had been kidnapped by unknown people.
“He looked fresh but still maintained that he had been locked up at a certain house.”
She believes there is life after the world Cup and that is why she has chosen to give up some of her own pleasures especially with the fact that the games are being played early enough.
Interestingly enough, more women are not only watching football but are able to understand the rules of the game if the social media posts are anything to go by. More women are posting about the matches signalling a shift from the past where male audience were the only football audience.