The Simpsons is the longest-running scripted show in television history, and soccer is the most popular sport in the world.
So it's only fitting that, as we approach the year of the 2014 World Cup, the Twentieth Century FOX animated sitcom is writing up — and gearing up for — a special World Cup-themed episode of The Simpsons scheduled to air in March 2014.
Along with the 30-minute television show episode, FOX have also created a special line of branded merchandise created in conjunction with a few of the world's most famous soccer clubs, including FC Barcelona, FC Zenit St. Petersburg, Boca Juniors and Sport Club Corinthians. Additional club and national teams are expected to sign on as part of the licensing partnership.
“2014 is the year of soccer with the FIFA World Cup, serving to connect fans from cities, towns and villages around the world to experience the biggest sporting event,” said Jeffrey Godsick, president, Twentieth Century FOX Consumer Products in a statement. “This is the perfect opportunity to present a line of soccer merchandise, promotions and content that will leave an indelible imprint on The Simpsons fans around the world.”
The premise of the episode, entitled “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee,” is as follows:
Homer gets recruited as a referee for the World Cup after Lisa praises his integrity in a Springfield Elementary speech contest held on the youth soccer field. Homer and family then travel to Brazil, where Homer’s honesty is put to the test by the shadiest South American gangster in the soccer match-fixing business.
If Homer gives way to the temptation of money to fix matches, what players or national teams from around the world would you most like to see him do wrong by with the referee's whistle or yellow and red cards?