Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Football Fever | Business leaders risking it with Brazil ... but some saving stocks for other teams

Published:Friday | June 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Marcia Forbes
Don Wehby
A vendor selling flags of countries competing in the World Cup on Washington Boulevard in Kingston this week.

Although some were willing to accept the possibility of a dip in productivity during this year's staging of the World Cup, business leaders were not so clear-cut in their views about which team would take home the most prized title.

Brazil and Germany were among the favourites, even though there was an admission of the possibility of the bandwagon syndrome taking full effect.

"I have always been a Brazil fan from a child," Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Don Wehby told The Gleaner.

"It's the best [team] for Brazil for a long time."

Chorvelle Johnson, CEO, Sagicor Bank, declared that she was a "Samba girl", promising to pray them through to World Cup victory this year.

"They remind me of Jamaica. They know goal and know how to work hard. My office will be all yellow, and I am a Neymar fan win or lose," she said.

Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002, while Argentina reached the finals in 2014 but was defeated by Germany.

When The Gleaner caught up with Chairman of Wisynco William Mahfood, he had a hard time deciding which team he would be cheering for this World Cup, although he could not contain his excitement

"Belgium is one of the underdogs from out of Europe. I like Belgium! I do like Germany, defending champions. I think they are always never to be ruled out. Because of our proximity to South America, I would love to see Argentina or Brazil in the mix as well," he said.

He said that he would be outfitting the Wisynco warehouse with televisions to ensure that workers have access to full coverage of the games and highlights, acknowledging that productivity might fall just a little.

"We all know that. We can't help that. It is a part of our culture - we love football! But it's going to be exciting. I think it's going to be a great, great World Cup," the Wisynco boss exclaimed.

Dr Marcia Forbes, co-founder and co-owner of Phase Three Productions, made it clear that while she was not a football expert, she was banking on Brazil.

"I just go with the country that I like and my emotions," she explained.