Joburg goes crazy for Bafana Bafana

June 10, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/What started as a hunt for Mexican fans became a front row seat to one of the greatest street parties ever seen in South Africa as World Cup fever cranked up several notches on a sun-kissed afternoon in Johannesburg yesterday.

As I strolled the street looking for sombreros all I could find was a sea of green and gold as tens of thousands proud South Africans roared on their team, passing by in an open top bus.

“Good luck Bafana Bafana!”, “You can do it”, “Impossible is nothing”, read the signs as the blast of the vuvuzelas gave my ears a bashing.

I couldn’t hear much as at no point did the din subside, but I did witness some impromptu soccer skills from a local kid.

“Who needs Lionel Messi when you can have me?” the jubilant youngster cried after an audacious back flick paid off and left his friends open-jawed.

Just a few metres on another local was dancing atop a parked truck in a robotic style, much like England forward Peter Crouch’s goal celebration, while several hundred others below him swayed in rhythm — a bit like a line dance to the “tune” of the vuvuzela.

Spotting anyone not in green and gold was difficult, though there were fans from all over the world milling around me.

“I think I’ll have to wait to get my flag out,” said one embarrassed Portuguese lady as South African fans craned their necks to get a sight of the Bafana Bafana bus parade.

This was not the place for her country’s flag, but Portugal’s time will come, after South Africa and Mexico get the party started on Friday.

PHOTO: A fan poses during a parade of South Africa’s national soccer team “Bafana Bafana” on the streets of Sandton in Johannesburg June 9, 2010. The 2010 World Cup kicks off on June 11 at Soccer City stadium with the match between South Africa and Mexico. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

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