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Friday, May 19, 2006

Goleo: Loveable lion or loveable looser

Written by: Biplob Kishore Deb
An official Mascot is made for every world cup football so that people can easily remember a particular world cup, and its host nation just seeing the mascot. One of the main attractions of every World Cup football is its mascot. The first mascot appeared in the 1966 world cup, ‘Willie’ a British lion, wearing the Union Jack. Surprisingly, the 2006 FIFA World Cup mascot is also a lion, “Goleo”.
I do not know whether the designer was an Englander or a die hard English football fan or the whole thing is a coincidence, the main point is that “Goleo” is struggling for its own existence as its manufacturing company Bavarian toy maker Nici AG has appealed to the court for its own insolvency. The lion shaped toy could not make a boom in its selling. In the market it is sold at 19.95 euros. For some reason, it could not attract much football fans.
A report published in the BBC website says that this mascot does not go with the German culture because the national symbol of Germany is Eagle and the most important thing is that lion is the symbol of England, one of the most rival groups of Germany. Moreover, the mascot wears a football shirt with the number 6 but with no trousers or shorts. So it does not reveal the image of a perfect football player. According to Brendan Trembath’s report, another reason behind the failure of the mascot is that lion has been used as a mascot for other sports (the most prestigious cycling sport Tour de France’s mascot is a lion). FIFA has tried very hard to promote the lion and they dubbed it as a “Lovable Lion” but in the end it has become a “Lovable looser.”
The German toy making company has incurred huge loss and it is blaming the poor demand for the mascot. However, it did not disclose any information about how many units it actually sold.
The World Cup is six months away from now and it is the most prestigious and most popular event in the world. I am hopeful that, FIFA would come up with some good ideas to solve this problem.

Related Articles:
REUTERS
BBC
THE WORLD TODAY

If you want to know about the mascots of the previous world cups you can visit this link:
2002 World Cup

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