The football’s about to end: Fear not, there’s more sporting action
The football season’s about to end, so we look at the other sports available
When the final whistle blows at the FA Cup final on Saturday, May 30, football obsessives will be faced with a mass of mixed emotions - joy for whichever team hoists the cherished trophy, sorrow and despair for the losers.
The last of the three might seem a tad excessive, but the oldest association football competition in the world - the FA Cup final - marks the end of the British football season and a two-month drought of the beautiful game, until the new season kicks off once more in August and it all starts again.
Al Arabiya News football pundit Ross Dunbar said: “The end of the season is a disaster to most fans. Fans have to join in on family holidays and the equally nauseating array of transfer rumors is not a pretty sight.”
But he said all was not lost, because “thankfully, there’s major tournaments every summer, but sometimes there's football overkill: this year we've got the U20 World Cup, U21 Euros, Copa America and the Gold Cup. Too much.”
In some European countries he said it would be 25-30 days without the game - music to the ears of football widows everywhere - and there are alternatives to fill the void, of course, assuming these ardent footy fans can bring themselves to follow a different game.
The end of the season is a disaster to most fans. Fans have to join in on family holidays and the equally nauseating array of transfer rumors is not a pretty sightRoss Dunbar
But Dunbar tried to remain positive, suggesting “I'm sure we can survive. Just don't make us watch cricket - Please” - a differing view to that of cricket writer Nazar Islam who reckons the game of two bats and a ball might be the exact answer to fill that gap.
He explained: “Until the time the British league starts again, football lovers can ease their anxiety by watching the exciting cricket matches most cricketing nations will be playing in.”
'Garden center tedium'
Those include “Cricket matches like England hosting New Zealand, and the thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL), which is hosting cricketing stars from all over the world.”
Okay, he admits, there can be a lot of standing around in the middle of the field - especially during the five-day Test Match. And it might not be the most obvious alternative to football, but Islam said: “It has its own sort of excitement that makes one’s pulse go faster.”
If you are a fan of the British domestic game and Islam’s view is not one you feel you can share, then you might relate to Al Arabiya News’ football writer Graham Ruthven.
“What does a football pundit do when there is no football? It's the eternal question, to which the answer usually involves being dragged round a garden center,” explains the Scotsman.
But Ruthven says he does manage to find a life raft during the void in the shape of that other very British game (they invented it - although rarely win a match).
“From a personal perspective, thank goodness for tennis,” he adds. “Between Roland Garros in late May, Queen’s in June and Wimbledon in July there is no shortage of top-class sporting competition, and with a British interest too - come on Andy."
Of course as Ross Dunbar explains, there are other games to watch, but we at Al Arabiya News thought we would take a look at some of the other sporting highlights there are between the final whistle of the FA Cup and the start of the 2015-16 season. But be aware, not all our suggestions have two halves, or for that matter any balls:
Football - yes there is some and here are two highlights
FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 - The finest players in the women’s game compete for this international trophy, this time in Canada. The tournament runs from June 6 to July 5.
COPA America - This year Chile hosts the competition that sees the men’s South American national teams compete in a tournament that is held, like so many, every four years. Twelve nations will be competing from June 11 to July 4, 2015, including the current reigning champions, Uraguay
As Graham Ruthven mentions, June marks the beginning of two months of some of the best tennis you’ll see all year:
Beginning May 19 the premier clay court tennis championship, the French Open, which runs until June 7.
Held at The Queen's Club, London, The Aegon Championship, the tournament runs from June 15 to 21
Wimbledon, the Lawn Tennis Association championship runs from June 29 to July 12, 2015
The 2015 Formula One British Grand Prix returns to Silverstone between July 3 to 5, 2015.
Australia heads to England to defend their claim to the Ashes – the series starts July 8 in Cardiff.
Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting which attracts the world’s finest equestrian talent. It also draws royalty including the UAE’s own racing enthusiast Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The festival runs from June 16 to 20.