Sir: The FIFA World Cup kicked off in Brazil two days ago with a colourful and optimistic opening ceremony. Despite apprehensions that Brazil was not ready to stage the tournament, it seemed everything was in order. The pitch was beautiful, the crowd excited and happy, and there was a general atmosphere of appreciation. Rumours of impending disaster follow every World Cup so there is no need to believe the rumour mongers. The opening match was not as smooth, as Brazil won thanks to some dubious refereeing against a well-organised and motivated Croatian squad who played like lions. Both are teams to watch: Brazil, giants of the game, and Croatia, underdogs with a history of causing upsets. Despite the refereeing it was still an engaging game. With all the woes of the world mounting, the World Cup is an elixir of friendship, harmony and mutual appreciation of the ‘beautiful game’. Let us hope this spirit permeates the world even after the cup is over.