Reuters Soccer Blog
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I have decided that the World Cup fan parks are not my cup of tea. I am a bit of a football snob who prefers to either watch the game at the stadium or in front of the telly where I can follow the proceedings closely.
So, after much hustling and trying to purchase a ticket to the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, I ended up at the Sandton Fan Park at Innisfree Park.
There was no shortage of yellow shirt clad Bafana Bafana supporters armed with their vuvuzelas. The mood was festive, the sun had come out, and the tension ahead of the game could be felt throughout the park. And as the moment drew closer, the park filled.
The queues at the beer tent and the food court never seemed to get shorter, but that did not dampen the mood at the Fan Park. There were armies of police all around keeping the peace. The atmosphere was awesome and people seemed to be having a good old time.
In townships throughout South Africa, young boys and girls first learn to play football in the streets. And as fans and footballers from across the globe gather here for the 2010 World Cup, the townships are also vying for the world’s attention.In Alexandra township, which stands across the motorway and the skyscrapers of its more glamorous cousin Sandton, this world cup promises to bring something positive to the community.
Alex will be home to this years “other” World Cup. The tournament, which is known as Football for Hope, kicked off on Friday June 4 at Alexandra Stadium. This FIFA sponsored tournament will bring more than 250 boys and girls (between the ages of 12 to 17) from different countries and cultures into the heart of Alexandra.
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.