Although Bafana Bafana failed to score enough goals to qualify them for the next round, beating the French in their final game was cause for countrywide celebration. The absence of the host team will certainly tone down the noise level, but most South African’s have a backup favourite to route for, and will provide willing cheering partners for the visiting fans. The tournament has started to take form, as a few teams have shown their expected dominance, while a few others have struggled to meet expectations. As this is being written, England is hanging on by a thread, while the French have probably just landed at De Gaulle. In a couple days the stage will be set for the knock-out portion of this World Cup.
South Africa is certainly proud of their soccer team, but should also be proud of their hospitality. Thus far, this event has gone off without a hitch. “I’m in love with South Africa” as one tourist was heard saying, seems to be a popular feeling had by the hundreds of thousands of soccer fans who have made the pilgrimage. The critics predicted a crime spree and a transportation nightmare, in addition to other infrastructure failures and unreasonably high prices. Subsequently local business’s prepared for a slump in the numbers of attendees.
According to the newspaper, brothel business is way down, and a couple of doctors have commented on the emptiness of the emergency rooms. But hotels are sold out, bars are packed and not too many people can be found who aren’t sporting some sort of purchased World Cup gear. Draw your own conclusions, but my conclusion is that this is shaping up to be one of the most successful world cups yet.
And the poor USA. One person suggested that the call retracting the possible winning goal in their last game was payback for 8 years of Bush/Cheney. Another suggested that ref was paid by Bush /Cheney. Either way it just happened again. Clint Dempsey just blasted a shot into the back of the net, and he was called offside for no apparent reason. Could these conspiracy theorists be right???