Here at One Game, One World we hope you have enjoyed the World Cup as we enter the final weekend of the competition. Stay tuned here after the tournament as we will be providing a full tournament recap and analysis.
For now, enjoy another superb offering from our correspondent in South Africa, Yumna Mia. We are sure you will enjoy her fantastic thoughts on the tournament in the last week and the feelings she conveys encapsulating the withdrawal that many in South Africa are beginning to feel as the tournament nears its conclusion. ENJOY!
“My Facebook status on Sunday night (27th June 2010) read: “I was there…AGAIN!!!
I attended the Argentina Vs Mexico match at Soccer City. It was my second time at Soccer City but I was still blown away by the sheer beauty of the stadium and the atmosphere surrounding us. On the afternoon before the match we went driving around looking for Argentina flags and snacks to take with to the match. Knapsacks packed, dressed in a million clothes, and as typical Indians, had tea and snacks, we were on our way to the stadium. Once again, it was amazing walking towards the stadium. I especially loved the Mexican fans even though I was supporting Argentina in this match. They showed up in the most outrageous outfits in support of their team.
It took us about half an hour before we got to our seats because we stopped to take photo’s with different groups of Mexican fans in their crazy costumes on our way there. It’s amazing how people can be so warm and friendly, I guess insanity loves company. I thoroughly enjoyed the match, especially since Argentina won, but not more than I enjoyed Diego Maradona, with all his pitch side antics, rantings and raving. It was quite a spectacle and quite entertaining. I simply loved it.
If I thought it was pure luck to receive tickets only at 17:00pm for the Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 20th June 2010, receiving tickets 1 hour before the Spain vs Paraguay quarter final on the 03 July 2010 at Ellis Park must have been a case of divine intervention, because I actually prayed that I could get tickets to the match. I have never in my entire life dressed so quickly (you’ll understand if you’re a women). It took me 10 minutes in total to wear, again, 2 pairs of socks, a pair of tights, jeans, 2 spencers ,2 jerseys, my Spanish jacket, gloves, beanie and another thick padded jacket, grab a blanket in case I froze, apply some make-up and comb my hair( normally that takes 10minutes alone) grab snacks (again typically Indian, I mean it wouldn’t be fun if there were no food rightJ) and my vuvuzela. Speedy Gonzales would have been proud!!
To obtain tickets I posted an update on Facebook and contacted people that I have never met, almost collapsing from the prices that some of them quoted me for the tickets. I mean, I was desperate but my mum always taught me to live within my means, and if you can’t have something stay without, and to always pray to GOD, so I prayed, then resigned myself to the fact that I will be watching the game at home and that if I was meant to go I will. Sometimes it helps not to stress, but I really really wanted to go.
I had just finished washing the dishes and clearing the kitchen ( in my oversized sweater and comfortable sweatpants, you know, those clothes you wear at home, well some people dress like that when they go out but that’s a topic for another forum) when I received a call from my cousin letting me know that he has an extra ticket for me. I have been to Ellis Park for few matches last year during the Confederations Cup, and while Ellis park has nothing on Soccer City, the atmosphere was nevertheless as exhilarating. We had the most amazing seats right at the front. Now while I am a huge soccer fan, I am also a woman, so watching the Spanish players live was also an added bonus. As we say here in SA, “ Joh!” or “Eish!” ( exclamation for something that is wow, stunning, or unbelievable), what a sight!
Anyway getting back to the game itself it was extremely exciting with the 2 missed penalties and then the eventual goal from Spain which secured their place in the semi finals. If I had cheered any more or any louder, I think I would have lost my voice. I was especially ecstatic since Brazil, Ghana and Argentina were all knocked out. Finally one of the teams that I was supporting was through. I was even made fun of after the Argentina, Germany match, a friend sent me a text message all the way from India to say that since all the teams I was supporting are out, I should do him a favour and not support Germany as he was backing them. He didn’t want me to jinx his team.
Fast forward to the 07th July 2010 after both Semi Finals were played. A friend of mine attended the Netherlands vs Uruguay semi finals on the 6th July 2010 in Cape Town and while she said the match was amazing, the stadium in CT beautiful, she loved the atmosphere and vibe before the matches here in Johannesburg much better. The day of the Spain Vs Germany final was quite a lot of fun even though I was extremely tense as I really wanted Spain to go through. Email and comments were being bounced back and forth between my friends, colleagues and I taunting each other as to how we will have to hang our heads in shame should our team lose that night. I was so tense that even though I was sitting and watching the match I could barely look at the screen most of the time (trust me it is possible).
Well in the end, the Spanish were victorious and the Germans were ‘Klose and Klose” to the airport on their way home. I feel sorry for Paul the Octopus though, as they are threatening make calamari out of him. Work the next day was even more fun, with all the Spanish fans making fun of the German fans. I actually brought a packet of tissues and handed them to my colleague to wipe away her tears. This has certainly been a World Cup of many shocks. Many of the ‘big’ teams and names in football haven’t performed as expected, all being knocked out. I guess maybe this is the year of the underdogs.
The time has come, and now it is almost over. I’m already beginning to experience withdrawal symptoms. This began during the breaks that we had in between the matches. I was so bored that I didn’t know what to do with myself. We have been so engrossed by the soccer over the last month that I’m beginning to question if there will be life after the World Cup. What will we have to look forward to, what will we do with our spare time, what will we watch on TV, what will we chat about, when will we get this amazing opportunity again, will we ever get the opportunity to watch these world class players live again? An funny example of this is that, a friend of mine told his wife that they need to have another baby as they will have nothing to look forward to after the World Cup.
We are on the brink of History being made once again. May the best team win.
P.S. Just one request to anyone who might read this. Please pray that, through some miracle again, I get to go and watch the final at Soccer City. It will be much appreciated.