SA man takes pity on stranded Argentinian fans

2010-06-15 16:52

A South African has taken pity on 60 Argentinian soccer fans who

were stranded because their sponsors had apparently failed to pay their expenses.

Channon Merricks, the managing director of the Soweto Focus Points

(SFP) – which has converted schools into lodgings for backpackers – was alerted

to the plight of the soccer fans after they were kicked out of Road Lodge in

Southgate, Johannesburg, on Thursday. They claim they had run out of money

because their sponsors, the Argentine Football Association (AFA), had failed to

release the funds.

Angus McMillan, spokesperson of Road Lodge, confirmed that the

Argentinians had to leave because their money had run out and the lodge was

fully booked. “They were well behaved and didn’t cause any trouble. They left

because other people had booked (accommodation).”

The group was picked up by a truck driver who dropped them at a

school in Soweto. The caretaker called Merricks who gave the visitors

accommodation at one of the schools run by SFP, even though they could not

afford to pay him.

“I might be losing money but the image of our country is more

important and we cannot leave these people stranded,” he said.

The fans told City Press – through a translator, Sheila Okwuosa –

that they had approached their embassy to intervene as some of the fans wanted

to return home.

When City Press visited the Argentinians in Klipspruit West,

Soweto, they were watching the game between Ivory Coast and Portugal (which ended in a goalless draw). One of

them, Nelson Duarte (51), was enjoying a South African beer.

Chazarreta Florencio (63), who has attended the World Cup four

times said: “The people here are warm and they treat us well.”

Another fan, Ricardo Alonso (62), said that even though they did

not have tickets for the match between his national team and Nigeria on

Saturday, security allowed them into the game after they played their drums and

sang outside the stadium.

They all vowed to come back and visit the country, saying it was

beautiful.

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.