World Cup fever hits SA

2014-06-12 00:00

THE 2014 Fifa World Cup may be in Brazil but soccer fever has managed to reach our shores, with soccer fanatics rushing out to buy their favourite regalia.

Four years ago, South Africa hosted the World Cup, but fans still remember the prestigious event like it was yesterday.

Talking to The Witness, local resident Mark Johnson said he would have loved to be in Brazil to witness the opening of the World Cup.

“We were so excited and united as a country that I wish we could have hosted the tournament again,” he said.

He said he couldn’t wait for the event to start and was rushing to the Liberty Midlands Mall to buy his favourite team, Brazil’s, flag.

“I am going to be rooting for Ghana to bring the cup home but if they fail then it must stay in Brazil,” he said.

Johnson said the 2014 World Cup would have been better if Bafana Bafana had managed to qualify but nonetheless he would still enjoy the games despite the national team not participating.

Another Pietermaritzburg resident, Khule Ngubo, said: “We are very excited and we’ll be making a lot of money because we’ll be placing our bets during the tournament.”

He said since it has been off season they had stopped betting, but with the World Cup starting they were going to have a lot of fun.

“We were hoping that Bafana would be in the tournament but what can we say, our soccer administrators are not willing to make us fans happy by getting the national team organised,” he said.

Ngubo said it is Brazil all the way for him.

Vicky Mpisi, a staff member of Fourie’s Sporting Club in Greyling Street, said she was very excited because she has been looking forward to the games.

“I’ve been wearing my Brazilian scarf since the beginning of June because I love this team and I know they will keep the cup at home,” she said.

When asked about Bafana Bafana, she said, “Don’t even mention Bafana because the whole nation is disappointed because of them.”

She hopes Ghana can win it for Africa.

Other soccer fans that The Witness spoke to felt Germany had the potential to win the tournament.

Bookmaker and owner of Fourie’s Sporting Club, Colin Fourie, said soccer betting had been quiet since it was off season but with the World Cup starting today, people would be coming in their numbers to place their bets, especially during the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

Fourie said he had decorated his club with flags and other soccer memorabilia to attract soccer fans.

Sports shops were selling Brazucas (2014 World Cup soccer balls) and Argentinian star Lionel Messi’s brand of soccer boots like hotcakes.


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