A reader writes:
Regarding your comment that the tournament is about nationalism not football: absolutely. Cup games (and some qualifying matches) are the only times I wave the flag, curse out other countries, and go along with all the other jingoist nationalism. It feels great, but I reckon it's a good thing that it's only on a four-year cycle.
Maybe this is why American conservatives hate it - it's patriotism they can't politicize.