About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

16 June 2010

FIFA Fan Park

I decided to go watch the Spain v Switzerland match at one of the FIFA Fan parks; and had initially decided on Innesfree Park in Sandton. However, the parking arrangements for the fan park is convoluted, and not exactly welcoming - so decided to head to the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown instead; where parking is literally round the corner.

The Fan parks are well set up, with plenty of food and beverage stalls; as well as various other smaller stalls selling clothing, DVDs (bliksem DVD is an awesome concept), crafts etc. The atmosphere was festive, and despite the bitter cold; people were thoroughly enjoying themselves. There was also some DJs and dancing during the half time break on the stage.

13 June 2010

FWC 2010: Serbia v Ghana

Match 8, Serbia v Ghana, is the first of my 5 FIFA World Cup Games, and took place at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. One of the standout achievements of the World Cup so far, has been the organisation - which has run almost like clockwork. And it was evident at Loftus. I used the park and walk and not only was it easy to find and navigate to; but getting out was a comparative breeze. From getting into the car, to reaching home (about 35 Km away), it took just over an hour - and about 30 minutes of that was in the parking lot. As a comparison, it took over an hour, just to get out of the parking lot at Carnival City! Even then, suggestions can be made - like starting to fill the parking lot from the front; so first arrivals get better spots.

The game was rowdy - as can be expected. Not only was there the buzzing vuvuzelas, but also a range of drums and trumpets - mostly from the Ghanaian supporters, who easily outnumbered the Serbian supporters. And the team showed appreciation - not only greeting the fans after the match around the stadium; but also before the beginning of the match.

Ghana played the better football throughout the match - they seemed to be a lot faster, a lot more skilled and more hungrier to win. That said, this only seemed to apply to the 80% of the pitch - the moment they came to the 20% near the Serbian goalpost, their passing strayed, their shots were wide and the headers were off mark. That said, Ghana was quite unlucky(or Serbia was very lucky) in having two attempts bouncing off the goalposts. The score of 1-0 reflected correctly that the better side was Ghana, but while both sides had plenty of chances, neither actually got to scoring in the field of play.

The stadium was surprisingly not full although most of the free seats seemed to belong to boxes; which probably means that there was a huge number of hospitality seats that were not sold. I wonder if FIFA does fireside sales to drive up attendance for poorly sold matches. It was a great experience, and am looking forward to my next match on Saturday, Cameroon v Denmark, also at Loftus.