In his second blog, the Broker Network chairman admits it’s not all sunshine and celebrations over in South Africa
Good day again from sunny Cape Town!
The first week of this World Cup has been a real mixture of emotions for South Africans. The atmosphere in Cape Town on the opening day was unbelievable – vuvuzelas and car horns were all you could hear – and the whole town was watching Bafana Bafana draw in their opening game with Mexico. Hitting the post in the last minute left all South Africans in an optimistic mood for the games to come.
We watched the game in a French bar with my friend Lawrence and his colleagues, who’d closed the office for the afternoon. I was asked to judge the ‘Best dressed football fan’ competition, and it was clear from the start that the girls had made the most effort. The one dressed as a vuvuzela just edged it, over the one with the Mohican in French colours (see photo, right). I think I still have her phone number somewhere …
Since then, we’ve seen both games at Cape Town’s Green Point stadium. The opener (Uruguay v France) was a real bore, but the Italy v Paraguay game was much better – except that is was 7ºC and chucked it down all night! The misery of being cold and wet was capped off by the ‘park and ride’ bus leaving us standing in the rain for over an hour after kick off. I’ve still not warmed up properly.
Yesterday was a public holiday here, and the locals whipped themselves up into a frenzy of anticipation of their second game against Uruguay. Unfortunately, they came down to earth with a bump when they lost, and the depression is almost palpable. Everyone you see today has a long face as it has dawned on them that they are probably going to go out at the group stage. I don’t think the sombre mood will last long though, as they’re an irrepressible bunch when it comes to enjoying themselves – most will simply switch their allegiance to another team, whom they’ll support just as enthusiastically.
Our next game is England v Algeria tomorrow night. Let’s hope they don’t drop any clangers like they did against the USA. Then we can all look forward to an extended run in the competition and recruiting lots of locals to the cause!
Grant Ellis is chairman of The Broker Network.