Post World Cup blues hit

2010-07-13 12:36

Irritable? Sad? Feeling empty? It could be post-World Cup


The post-mortem on South Africa’s World Cup drew a near perfect

score but locals are now grappling with a once far-off question after a month of

celebration and rare unity: How are you going to get your life back?

With a touch of the blues, say experts.

Cape Town psychologist Helgo Schomer said: “This World Cup has

provided us with a fantastic natural high. Now we have to replace it because

within 31 days and a few games you get hooked.”

South Africans lapped up the chance to welcome the world and

celebrate without the constant shadow of apartheid’s ills, in an outpouring of

national pride and unity little seen since the onset of multi-race democracy in


All the country’s social barriers had come down during the

month-long tournament which is not often seen, Schomer said.

“We are a social animal. We need to admit that something like this

in a group in a stadium with 60 000-plus people cannot be replaced by anything


“Humans among humans are the most happy people around. We forget

about our worries. Nothing like a World Cup event alleviates worry about the

mundane,” he said.

The championship created a vacuum of euphoria with a bump to be

expected, said Charl Davids of the psychology department at the University of

the Western Cape.

Davids said: “It’s the sudden set-in of ‘okay, now things are back

to normal’, and I think that is the kind of blues and almost depressed feeling

that a lot of people have.”

As reality crept in, the hype of the mega-event was suddenly gone,

once the 64 matches had finished after years of build-up.

The freedom of opining on the game’s minutiae – which dominated

conversations for four weeks – by instant football experts who perhaps lacked

thorough knowledge might also have evaporated.

Davids said: “It’s quite normal after a big event. Suddenly today

that is gone because now if you talk about something you need to know what

you’re talking about.”

South Africans have been urged to harness the current spirit, amid

hopes that the benchmark set by staging the world’s most-watched sporting event

will turn to huge challenges of poverty, crime and divisions.

For those itching for a vuvuzela or remote control, Schomer said

some could face withdrawal symptoms of irritability, frustration and even more


“There’s a touch of melancholy about it’s over, it’s done,” he


But the blues will pass, he said, calling on people to replace the

natural high.

Schomer said: “We level out. It takes a bit of time. Normally it

takes about a seven-day period on average but that varies from person to


Some fans were already feeling the blues before the last whistle on


Melanie George said while queuing for the Cape Town fanpark eight

hours ahead the final on Sunday: “I’ve already started suffering from post-World

Cup depression.

It’s like amazing, all the people that are here and everyone

said South Africa couldn’t do it and we really showed them.”

And next? “Sulk. Save for 2014.”

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