It’s the fans that make the World Cup special

I mentioned in the prologue that there were always good memories from meeting people as you travel round. A selection from the first few days here:

– an Argentinian on the shuttle bus from the airport who had flown 9 hours to go to the Argentina vs Nigeria game and was flying back again the same night ! Respect

– a Mexican on the same shuttle who had to take 4 flights to get to Joburg. Unfortunately one of his connections didn’t work and he arrived a day late, thereby missing the opening match (S. Africa vs Mexico) that he had tickets for

– an Aussie from CNN Hong Kong on the bus to Rustenburg who had stopped over here for 3 days in the middle of a business trip but was still managing to catch 3 games

– an American Professor from Odessa, Texas on the bus to Pretoria who is writing a book on a combination of my favourite 2 topics; history and sport. Now that is a great job

– 2 Americans on the bus to Rustenburg who were travelling round watching games (staying at the same campus). One of them had been robbed which at first sounded pretty bad until he revealed that he had actually fallen asleep on a couch outside a bar at nightime. Don’t think you can blame Joburg for that mate, that’s called stupidity.

There are quite a lot of the ususal suspects here i.e. English, Argentinians, Americans, Australians i.e. all wealthy countries with strong sporting traditions. What impresses me though is the number of fans I’ve seen from countries who aren’t even at the World Cup. Take a bow:

  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Ireland (Eire)
  • Peru
  • Finland – lots
  • Canada – lots

Haven’t found any North Korean fans yet, even though there is a rumour they have rented some. If I can just find out where you apply for that gig… 

In terms of who have been the best fans:

– the Dutch were great today and are always great (they must be close to the best fans in the world)

– Ghana fans were good yesterday but their numbers were def swelled by the local S. Africans who were all cheering for them 

– Denmark were very poor, not many turned up and didn’t make much noise. Surprising 

– Serbia had quite a lot of fans. They seemed quite dour though. Maybe that’s just my stereotype mindset kicking in

– USA had lot’s of fans but they didn’t really do much

– England always have lot’s of fans but the numbers seem well down on previous World Cups. Maybe they are basing themselves in Cape Town and will come out in force vs Algeria

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2 Comments on “It’s the fans that make the World Cup special”

  1. Rich Schweiger Says:

    Nigel,
    Great stuff! First time I logged on, and just read all of your posts. I’ve watched every match (at least part of them), and it’s nice to know you’ve been at a few! The Ghana / Serbia match was a great one. I hesitated to text / email you after the 1-1 result, as I knew you’d be dissapointed, but both teams still have it all in their own hands to go through. Keep it up! Really funny stuff. Your first day seemed insane! I don’t think I would have been able to keep it together for all of that ticket printing. What a nightmare!
    Rich

  2. Sis Says:

    Have you still got spare tickets? Can I come?


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