Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup Match Report

DPRK vs Brazil - a world cup match report, written by my sister

So my boss calls me during a meeting and I send a busy signal to him. He then sends a text saying, 'Oh well, I guess you don't need the ticket'. I excuse myself, run out of the meeting and call and voila - spare ticket to the game yesterday! Went with three staff members to Ellis Park which is in downtown, downtown Johannesburg. These are the parts you don't see on brochures. Park outside boarded up buildings with no lights but fully occupied and druggies huddling outside oil drums by the street. very brisk walk towards the police who were helping out. (The security guards contracted to do FIFA security at Ellis Park are on strike so to avert disaster, the South African Police stepped in. They handled everything from traffic to parking to ticketing and frisking. First time I've seen white cops in downtown Joburg....chuckle)

There were tons of fans - Brazilians mostly and the odd DPRK flag here and there. The Brazilians love love the vuvuzela so don't put down SA fans for this game. It was also less noticeable in Rustenberg at the England game which is a very open air stadium. Nonetheless, they blew them nonstop from security to the stadium - but to be honest, once you are in there, you kind of forget that they exist. We made it through and walked all around the stadium to get to our very cordoned off area...seated in the lower terrace below Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter!!!
First thing I see is the FIFA Vip section where our seat numbers were and as we approached the entrance, a flipping red carpet!! Turns out that the spare seats came from some CEO who received them from the US Soccer Federation. He was there with our boss and he was a pretty nice guy. This was his eight world cup and his fifth game so far in this WC!

So, game on, celebrity hunting. A number of Emirati were above us and once in a while, Michel would look down on us. The DPRK bench was about 12 rows below us so we had a great view of everything. The pitch was fantastic and the first half was good. Was a shame about the immediate goal after the second half. When Korea scored, people were thrilled with even the Brazilians urging them on. There seemed to be a bunch of their own supporters dressed in red suits.

All in all, a great game on the coldest day of the year in Johannesburg. Temps were down to 20F so I am still thawing this morning at home. It's a public holiday so I'm staying in and then headed to a braai....shiver. Seriously, it is very very cold here. If there was any moisture, it would have snowed here. It is snowing in Lesotho and on the Eastern Cape. It is raining buckets with very strong wind in Cape Town so please don't envy those headed to the coast!! The sun shines very bright and we have blue skies all day but it is freezing! And oh, South Africans don't know what indoor heating and screen doors are. Seriously. I've never been in any heated houses here or enjoyed a fly free braai.

Hope you are all well - if there was any group of people whom I would have loved to be there - would have been you. You must all commit to England 2014. I already have a friend willing to host!! With FIFA breathing down corporations for having empty seats and ALA being an investment project - I'm sure more tickets are bound to come this way...fingers crossed. I will keep you posted and will put out pics as soon as I find my camera cord.

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