Sure, any
Socceroo not carrying the slightest niggle of an injury has woken today in
anticipation of shaping up against Greece tonight at the MCG, but let’s not
lose sight of the bigger picture.

Know
this: our World Cup rivals are thinking far beyond pre-Cup friendlies. In fact,
they’re already working on the Cup after party.

It was
revealed in The Times yesterday that
the German squad has booked hotel rooms in Berlin following the July 9 final,
in anticipation that the host nation team’s victory celebrations will be
wanting to begin without annoying logistical delays like signing for room keys
or providing credit cards to swipe as insurance against potential mini-bar
costs.

England is equally confident. The Times also reports that plans are
well underway for a street parade for David Beckham’s victorious team two days
after the final, with an unprecedented crowd anticipated in London.

“Ignoring superstition,
the FA has for weeks had officials working full-time on the logistics of an
open-top bus drive through Central London, using the same route as the
victorious England rugby union team, whose World Cup heroics in Australia in
2003 brought one million people on to the streets of the capital,” The Times breathlessly reported.

The crowd
expected at the parade would potentially double the rugby turnout, officials
declared, while hastening to add: “We would not want to risk our chances by doing
anything which sounds too presumptuous beforehand.”

Too late for that, fellas. The Queen has confirmed she will have the kettle on, so she can host tea
for the victorious English squad. Prince William (who happens to be the
president of the English Football Association) and his brother, Prince Harry,
are said to be putting in the necessary pre-Cup legwork to wag army duties on
the day of the final, and even Prince Charles, more of a polo man, might wander
over to Germany if England makes it.

It seems
the only remaining debate is whether Prime Minister Tony Blair announces the
public holiday of celebration now, or as a formality after Beckham lifts the
cup.

Australia, are we ready? Start sweeping the
streets of every capital city immediately!

Peter Fray

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