World Cup spirit in Soweto

first_imgSouth African and foreign fans get thevuvuzela noise going at the Fifa Fan Festin Soweto.(Image: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 471media-sa@fifa.org• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524media-sa@fifa.org • Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World CupLocal Organising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 0121jermaine.craig@2010oc.com RELATED ARTICLES• SA fan to break attendance record• 2010 World Cup, New York style• Exciting start to World Cup• World Cup begins on a high note• The vuvuzela: Bafana’s 12th manNosimilo RamelaWhile over 90 000 football fans were having the time of their lives as South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup kicked off at the iconic Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Friday, eight kilometres away, in the heart of Soweto township, another 40 000 were getting into the tournament spirit with the Fifa Fan Fest.Elkah Stadium in Moroka, Soweto, is one of the two Fan Fests venues in Johannesburg; the other is to the north of the city, in the upmarket Sandton area. On Friday locals and foreign visitors braved the winter cold to enjoy the atmosphere as they watched first the colourful opening ceremony on the huge screen, and then the intense clash between South Africa and Mexico.“This is history in the making. I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” said Sindiswa Mgoza from Pimville, Soweto. “Watching it at a fan fest with thousands of fellow South Africans and football lovers from all over the world makes it even more special.“We are sharing our cultures and making history – and what better place to do that than in Soweto, where freedom fighters such as Mandela once lived.”The streets of Soweto were a blaze of green and yellow as crowds wearing South African football jerseys sang, waved the national flag and blew on noisy vuvuzela trumpets as they made their way to the festival. The stadium opened at 10am, with a stage for live performances from local and international artists, the huge screen, and plenty to eat and drink.Marquees set up throughout the stadium offered visitors traditional South African food such as steamed bread and tripe, pap ‘n vleis (stiff porridge and meat) and boerewors rolls. Security was tight, with a large contingent of officers keeping order all day and through the night.People came with their families, carrying blankets for children and camp chairs for the elderly. Many came early to get the prime spot in front of the screen. “We arrived here at 11:30am,” said Mathato Molefe from Jabulani, Soweto. “We didn’t want to rush, and get stuck coming in, as we came with our elderly mother and kids.”Molefe and her family were all wearing South African football jerseys, hats, scarves, and jackets with the national colours, carrying vuvuzelas and South African flags. “We are very proud of our country, and are excited to see the first African World Cup being played in our own back yard.”William Hamilton from England came to the fan fest with friends from Australia, the US and South Africa. “We just had to come and watch the opening game in Soweto,” he said. “This is a historical event and this township and its people are a major part of this country’s history. Being here for us is like being at the centre of the making of history.”Hamilton said he and his friends were loving Soweto. “The people here are really amazing. They know how to have fun. The dancing and singing has really put us in the spirit of an African World Cup.”Getting into the jiveA few hours before the kickoff, as people slowly filled up the stadium, local artist Chommee opened the entertainment with her dancers jiving to her hit songs such as Jive Sexy and Fly the Flag, while the crowd danced and sang along.When Somali-Canadian artist K’naan took the stage to sing his anthemic Wavin’ Flag the queues at the food stalls evaporated as everyone headed to the stage. The crowds went into wild cheers and flags flew high as everyone held hands and sang along – many with tears in their eyes – just 10 minutes before the game began.“This song brought all of us to tears,” said Nosihle Mthembu. “K’naan gave such an emotional performance. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry tear in the entire stadium, in fact in all of Soweto. I’m sure they could hear him and us from every corner.”Let the games beginThe air was thick with anticipation as the whistle blew to start the first game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The tension was palpable, people screaming and gasping, as the game picked up and the two teams tried for goal. There were passionate celebrations when South African striker Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the tournament, putting his country in the lead.“We are well on our way now,” said Thabiso Mokoena. “Tshabalala has just rewarded every South African for all their efforts putting this World Cup together, and for all of us cheering fans, who have come out in numbers to blow our vuvuzelas and wave our flags.”Though the game ended in a 1-1 draw, there was still a sense of victory for the successful launch of South Africa’s – and Africa’s – first Fifa World Cup, with an amazing opening ceremony and a cracking opening goal. “At the end of the day we scored the first goal; we opened this tournament with an electric goal,” said Mokoena.The families made their way home after the game, while the youngsters stayed to enjoy the festivities as local DJs played through to midnight – and the beer queues grew longer.last_img read more

Cricket’s two hottest teams set for battle

first_img11 February 2014The two hottest teams in test cricket, South Africa and Australia, do battle from Wednesday at SuperSport Park in Centurion, in the first of three tests. The Proteas are ranked number one in the world, while the Aussies are coming off a rampant 5-0 whitewash of England.While South Africa have won successive series Down Under, they have not yet beaten Australia at home since the Proteas were readmitted to world cricket in 1992.‘Motivation’At SuperSport Park on Monday, star batsman Hashim Amla spoke about the Proteas’ home record against Australia. “There is probably some motivation, but in another aspect I don’t think we want to play too much on it,” he said.“In the last few series that we have played against Australia, we have had success, so hopefully we can translate the success into a home series win.”Seeking a return to formWhen the teams last met at the WACA in Perth in December 2012, Amla struck a superb, man of the match-winning 196 in South Africa’s second innings to help the Proteas to a series-clinching 309 run victory. After a poor series against India, he is ranked fourth in the test batting rankings, but will be aiming to return to his established form, especially in the absence of Jacques Kallis.AB de Villiers, meanwhile, returns to the team after being sidelined because of surgery on a hand. He, too, will look to pick up where he left off. De Villiers is currently the number one test batsman in the world.Same approach“We have played against Australia quite a few times over the last few years and against the same bowling attack. I don’t think it will be any different for us in the way we approach this test series,” Amla said of the challenge awaiting the Proteas.“The guys have been going about their business preparing as well as they can.”Number fourOne of the biggest changes to the South African team will not involve a new player, but a new position in the batting line-up, with Faf du Plessis taking over the important number four spot from the great Jacques Kallis.Batting lower down the order, Du Plessis, in only 11 tests, has been superb, scoring 782 runs at an average of 60.15. Already he has played two memorable century knocks, one to save the second test against Australia the last time the teams met in Australia, and the other that almost won South Africa the first test against India earlier this year, when the Proteas were chasing a massive 458 for victory.The question that needs to be answered is whether or not he can be an attacking force higher up the order, if attack is what is needed.Combined what that, how will the all-round contribution of Kallis be accounted for in the bowling attack?ConditionsFor Amla, the conditions will play a vital role in the outcome of the first test. “I think conditions will be the deciding factor,” Amla said. “Regardless of the conditions, every batsman tries to occupy the crease and score as many runs as possible. Both teams are quite attacking, but by the same token conditions will play a large role in deciding how the game goes forward.”last_img read more

Four held in Odisha’s Berhampur on charges of torture of students

first_imgFour personnel of a residential higher secondary institution, including a lecturer and three hostel staff, were arrested in Odisha’s Berhampur on charges of torture of students. According to Santosini Oram, Inspector in-charge of the Berhampur Sadar police station, the misdeeds of the arrested persons came to light on Saturday. As part of an investigation into a case related to disappearance of a plus 2 student of the same institution, a police team had reached its hostel. According to police sources, the student went missing from the hostel on September 26. The institution is located in the Bhabinipur area of Berhampur and around 200 students reside in its hostel..Deep wounds During interrogation of hostel inmates, four students complained that they had been ruthlessly beaten up by a lecturer and three staff of the hostel. The students also had deep wounds. The lecturer and the hostel staff had resorted to physical torture of the students alleging that they had information about their missing classmate.Later, parents of one of the injured students filed an FIR that led to arrest of the lecturer and the three hostel staff of the institution.last_img read more