France vs South Africa

It must be an unwritten law for a football fan attending a World Cup that you should attend at least one game of the host nation. I was luckly enough to see Germany play Argentina at Berlin in 2006 and the atmosphere gave me goosebumps (not goosesteps). It would make the journey to Port Elizabeth the next day to see England a bit tight (little did we know at the time..) but it must be worth.

The atmosphere was amazing, no question. The noise was almost deafening. Having laughed at Richard for wearing earplugs I was quite jealous of him by about 10 mins into the game. One thing was disappointing though, the game wasn’t a sellout. Haven’t seen any sold out games yet despite what pompous mutterings come from FIFA. They might not care because they have sold their tickets to corporates and others who didn’t bother to turn up. To have thousands of empty seats though at the game where South Africa bade farewell to the competition was a disgrace and very sad. There were plenty of people milling around outside who would have loved to share the emotion of the day.

The game itself was Ok but nothing more. The South African team played quite well and rediscovered their pride. The French were already in disarray & it’s difficult to pour any more scorn on their efforts. Their whole adventure was surreal & it seemed the perfect ending when the French FA cancelled their first class tickets home and forced them to travel economy class. Can just imagine the conversations as they mingled with their fans….10 hours of non-stop gallic shrugging..

Final word though surely to the South African fans. The people of this country could not have been more gracious or friendly hosts (examples in later posts). Was sad to see them go but very happy they went out with heads held high.

Go Bafana Bafana and Thank You for some wonderful memories

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