World Cup: Let’s feel it because it is still here

2010-06-19 12:14

Look, we have to be realistic about this.

Bafana Bafana now have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the World Cup.

But miracles can happen, so we need to stay behind them on Tuesday night as they head towards what pundits say will be our final World Cup outing.

Through snow and sun, through thick and thin, we should not be a fickle support base for Bafana.

Their sprightly revival and the sheer heart of their performance ­deserve our ongoing support.

Continue to wear your Bafana Bafana shirts and keep your flags flying high. We are still host to the World Cup.

Enjoy the attention.

We will probably ­never again be at the centre of the global stage as we now are.

Television viewership figures just in from around the world show that audience numbers have broken previous viewing records.

We should bask in the warm glow of attention and put on our best faces.

From the statistics, it is clear that South Africa is a soccer-mad country.

By yesterday nearly 11?million locals and foreigners had attended World Cup matches (many as repeat spectators), and it’s clear from the capacity crowds at matches that we will continue to flock to stadiums to watch “the beautiful game” being played by its finest athletes.

As we head towards the final rounds, get on to those buses, taxis and trains and make the stadiums fuller.

Welcome the world.

Shari Cohen, writing on The Huffington Post blogging platform in the US this week, said that South Africa had been a gracious host country.

She had learnt, she said, that the spirit of ubuntu was laced into the country’s DNA.

We had welcomed the world with open arms and warm hearts.

She writes: “In today’s America, sadly, we have drifted so far towards being so US-centric that we only seem to root for the Americans. Not so in South Africa. I’ve been here since early May and each week I have become more and more impressed with the global ­embrace that South ­Africans have offered up to the world.”

One of the clever PR lines coined for South Africa is that we are a world in one country.

For this month we are exactly that, so let’s ­enjoy and embrace it.

Wear two hats or three.

Learn from our politicians, who often wear several hats.

Keep Bafana in your heart, but find a second team to root for.

Our money is on Ghana – and if they get knocked out, Brazil.

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