They had come for the draw of the 2010 World Cup. It was an important moment for South Africa and for world football. If you were a player on the world sporting stage, you had to be there. I scanned the hall and could not find a single Indian face. Then just before the draw for Asia, India’s name’s finally popped up, but in a footnote.
India, we were told, had already been eliminated by Lebanon, a much smaller country ravaged by wars. India’s name was not even going to go into the pot with the other Asian nations to decide which of them might win the right to be in South Africa. Let alone be at world sport’s biggest ball, India did not even have the right to buy a ticket for the ball.