South Africa 2010: I’ll be there

15 February 2010

When Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire battle it out at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on 20 June, Johannesburg resident Marlene Reddy will be one of 89 000 spectators cheering from the stands as the rest of the football world follows the game on television.

“I am happy that I get to watch an African country,” says Reddy. “I am very excited, I cannot wait to see Soccer City.”

Casey Monteiro is another Johannesburg resident who cannot wait for the tournament now that he has his tickets in his back pocket.

‘In my back yard’

Monteiro, who purchased a ticket to follow Brazil on their campaign for World Cup glory, is one of the many South Africans who are snapping up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch arguably one of the greatest sporting events in the world.

“Simply put, it is the biggest sporting event on earth, happening in my back yard. It will never again – in my lifetime at least – be in South Africa. This is probably the best chance I’ll ever get,” says Monteiro.

With the third phase of ticket sales – which saw 1 206 865 applications from 192 countries – now complete, and the fourth now under way, two million of the three million available World Cup tickets have already been snapped up.

Having already fallen in love with his city’s new World Cup stadium, Durban resident Amith Gosai, cannot wait for the tournament to begin as he talks about the tickets he has secured.

‘An incredible feeling’

“So far I have secured tickets for three games, one in each of the main host cities,” says Gosai, who will be attending the Brazil vs Portugal match in Durban on 25 June as well as Cote d’Ivoire vs Brazil at Soccer City in Johannesburg and England vs Algeria in Cape Town. “It is an incredible feeling. I have watched all of the World Cups prior to this one in my life, and was overjoyed when South Africa got the vote to host the event in 2010.”

With his tickets booked for both the quarter-final and the semi-final at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, Kobus Botha is not the biggest fan of the “beautiful game”, but he could not resist the opportunity to be part of South Africa’s World Cup.

“I knew that it would be a spectacular event and I didn’t want to miss it – even though I am not a huge soccer fan. I don’t think the reality of it has sunk in properly yet, but I am really amped and excited. I don’t know what to expect, which is great.”

‘A unique experience’

Having already attended a match at Durban’s newly completed World Cup stadium, Didier Pienke is looking forward to the chance to watch a World Cup match in his home stadium.

“I want to have a unique experience and be part of this first World Cup ever held in Africa,” says Pienke. “I also want to have the experience with the crowd in the beautiful stadium in Durban.”

Further afield, Canadian George Filipovic is looking forward to his trip to South Africa later in the year. “The World Cup is the greatest festival on Earth, and I’ve always wanted to experience Africa,” says the Toronto resident, who will be watching a total of six matches, including a semi-final and the final at Soccer City on 11 July.

“I think this Cup will be extra special, since football is the number sport on the continent, yet the Cup’s never been there before.”

Although the football may be the big draw card for Filipovic, he is also excited to explore the country during his one-month trip.

“I have been looking forward to the tournament ever since. I’ve been planning for months. It will be the trip of a lifetime and, after all is said and done, I will have got to visit Nelspruit, Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.”

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee