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More than 150 of 300 cultural exchange students from South America, participating in the University of La Verne’s Executive Management Certificate Program, attended a World Cup Party hosted by the university, and shared the agony of the 7-1 defeat.
There were tears. There were angry outbursts. But they got to share the experience together.
About 150 of 300 cultural exchange students from South and Central America participating in the University of La Verne’s executive management certificate program attended a World Cup viewing party organized by the university at Davenport Dining Hall on Tuesday.
Dr. Ibrahim “Abe” Helou, Dean of the College of Business & Public Management, postponed classes for the students and put together the party so students wouldn’t miss the semifinal match, which pitted Germany against Brazil. Students crowded into the hall, sat in front of three screens and ate ice cream.
“We knew that because of the World Cup, most of them would not be coming to class,” Helou said. The students – who hail from Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, and Guatemala – are part of a three-week summer program.
Roberto Diniz, director of institutional relations at the International Business School of São Paulo, said he suspected La Verne would postpone classes, but he didn’t expect the school to throw the students a party.
Though Germany scored five goals in the first 29 minutes of play, many of the students still lingered in the hall throughout the game. It was a sea of green and yellow jerseys, worn by fans who hoped Brazil’s luck would somehow turn around.
“I can’t talk,” said Aline Baz, a student from Rio de Janeiro. “I can’t speak.”
The group was still grateful the school pulled out all the stops to accommodate their passion for the game. And with Brazil scoring one goal just under the wire, they had something to cheer about.
“In Brazil, soccer is like a religion,” Diniz said. “It’s part of our culture.”