The FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly one of the most significant sporting events in the world. Hundreds of millions of fans from around the globe are tuning in to watch the 2022 version of the prestigious soccer tournament, and Haverford students are no exception.
Teachers throughout the community have differing perspectives on allowing students to watch the games during class. While some students tune in regardless of their teachers’ opinions, several teachers around the school permit their classes to watch parts of World Cup games during class.
“I can respect each teacher’s entitlement: some teachers need to cover their material when there is a great matchup between two countries,” soccer coach and history teacher Mr. Kevin Tryon stated. “I understand watching the World Cup during class times. For instance, when the USMNT [U.S. Men’s National Team] was playing, I allowed my students to watch.”
Mr. Tryon said that only two teachers in the entire school have seen more World Cups than he has. He views it as more of a “fantastic event” and “celebration” rather than simply a soccer match.
Other faculty members oppose watching World Cup games during class time, citing the tight schedule to cover the class curriculum.
“I have not let students [watch the soccer games] myself,” mathematics and economics teacher Dr. Mark Gottlieb said. “We have a schedule where we mostly meet every other day, so if you watch a World Cup game during class, you are missing a lot of important material. From a cultural perspective, however, I think it is fine in the right situation, but from an academic standpoint, it is unacceptable.”
Despite the teachers’ opinions, some students feel obligated to watch the World Cup matches due to their rarity and magnitude.
“I have been following soccer since I was five years old, and the World Cup only occurs once every four years,” Fourth Former Abdullah Kanchwala said. “Also, the team I root for [England] has a really strong squad this year, so I think it is important to tune in and support my country regardless of the time the games occur.”
Although the FIFA World Cup is an important event to some, the decision is ultimately made by the teachers, and it is important for the students to abide by the faculty’s rules.