2010 World Cup Fever

2010 World Cup Fever

I can feel it – it is here! I live in Johannesburg – the centre of the FIFA 2010 World Cup where this year’s most exciting soccer (otherwise known as football) matches, will be played. Even I, who am not a football fan, have been affected with it. I have tickets to three of the matches which were purchased last year already. My six-year old daughter is suddenly a football fan too. I can see the stadium where the FIFA 2010 World Cup finals will be played from my street.

Football fever is on TV during every commercial break, it’s in every newspaper and magazine. It’s on my Facebook page every day. It’s the main topic of conversation everywhere I go. There is chaos at the ticketing centres every time a new round of ticket sales opens. Everyone is singing the catchy K’naan song – “When I get older, they'll call me freedom, Just like a Waving Flag”. Everyone is dancing the “diski dance” a dance created just for the 2010 World Cup.

Taxi to Soweto

FNB Stadium

Thirty-two teams will be participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Many of the teams have started arriving. They will be staying at the some of the best hotels and tourist accommodation in South Africa. The airports are crowded with people wanting to catch a glimpse of their favourite teams and their favourite players. The “friendly matches” are in progress. Every friendly match is a sold-out match. The vuvuzelas are so loud I can hear them from my house. My small kids have to sport their favourite football teams’ gear every Friday, even though they normally wear a uniform. They were taken to Soccer City in Johannesburg, the venue for the FIFA World Cup 2010 finals, for their school excursion.

Businesses, large corporates and small stalls, have all been draped in the flags of all the nations that will be participating. Residential buildings have also been similarly adorned. Restaurants are all offering football specials. Our everyday groceries have been branded with football promotions. Every Friday for the past few months has been “Football Friday” where everybody wears their football gear to work, school, university or even just at home. The shopping centres are full of football gear and South African souvenirs.

Almost every car on the street has a patriotic South African flag or side mirror cover although the odd car does sport a flag of one of the other countries, most often Italy, Germany or Brazil. Most people are wearing South African football T-shirts – from the youngest babies to the oldest grandfathers. We are gripped with football fever. More importantly, we have forgotten our past prejudices and history and have united as one patriotic rainbow nation, even if just for the duration of the World Cup. Most of us are supporting Bafana Bafana, our national team, even though we don’t expect them to win the trophy.

I am living the World Cup right here, right now. The atmosphere is electric! Wish you were here!

2010 World Cup

P.S. We attended these matches: Netherlands vs Denmark , Argentina vs Korea Republic, and Brazil vs Côte d'Ivoire. I felt so privileged to be part of these exciting events.

More reflections...

Just before the World Cup started, the local newspapers published a list of favourites to win the coveted Cup. They were, in order:

  1. Spain – the number one ranked team in the FIFA rankings
  2. Brazil – the crowd favourites
  3. Argentina – Maradona’s boys
  4. England – the most profiled and media pressurised of all the National teams
  5. Netherlands – the underdogs
  6. Cote d’Ivoire – the best African team?

South Africa and Spain were the worthy winners of this tournament. Spain took home the trophy but South Africa, who received a first-class rating from FIFA, will have a lasting legacy for years to come. The tournament has done wonders for the country and its world image.

World Cup 2010

Zakumi - The World Cup 2010 masscot

2010 World Cup Fever 3

2 comments on “2010 World Cup Fever”

  1. I was 10 that time and im sure it will stay as the best world cup for a very long time... Every thing about that world cup was great; It was in a beautiful country, the official anthem "waka waka" is still my favorite song(and music video), the sound of vuvuzelas gave me goosebumps, groups were balanced, stadiums were awesome, the kick off concert was fire, opening and closing ceremonies were epic, i honestly can go on and on...
    I truly wish i was there.. Even for just one match.
    It's crazy how fast time flies and how crazy life can get in just 10 years I mean 10 years ago thousands of people were in that beautiful stadium (soccer city) celebrating but now football is being played without the fans and im sure the soccer city stadium is empty.
    I miss those days...

  2. The FIFA Planet Cup Mexico, saw the introduction of the first polyurethane coated ball which was rain-resistant.

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