What to expect at the big game

What to expect at the big game

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Byron has been fortunate to attend one of the Wolrd Cup matches. He wrote a review on his experience and also outlines some useful tips for those who still plan on attending one of the matches.

The Big Game – Byron Marais
The World Cup has officially been opened by Sepp Blatter and Jacob Zuma. Bafana impressed the nation with a one all draw and the opening ceremony, although not far from what was expected, had some fantastic visual elements (the giant dung beetle). I was lucky enough to attend the Serbia vs. Ghana match on Sunday which was the perfect cherry on top of an already busy and soccer driven weekend.

I want to start by saying that the match was organised perfectly. The FIFA staff and volunteers were well trained and friendly, the SAPS were out in full force and armed with big smiles for a change, helping point tourists in the right direction and just generally making the area feel incredibly safe. The fan park outside the stadium was a riot with Budweiser and wors rolls on sale not to mention packs of biltong which I thought was a nice way to get everyone involved in South African culture. To my surprise, I actually saw a lot of Serbian and Ghanaian supporters giving it a try!

There was no pushing or shoving getting into Loftus and the feeling of walking into the stadium for the first time was indescribable, thousands of fans blowing their Vuvu’s, the colours of the competing teams streaking across the stands and I even saw a Ghanaian marching band walking around the pitch playing in support of the Black Stars.

The game was very exciting; both teams were on form although Ghana did have more shots on goal and slightly more possession which helped them win 1-0.

The experience was phenomenal, the vibe in the stadium was amazing and if there’s one thing I could say about the World Cup now after having actually attended one of the games, is that it’s a complete honour to have it here in South Africa and we should honestly put aside all our bickering with FIFA and just thank them for giving us the opportunity.

Tips for match day

Based on Byron’s experience and research we have a few handy hints for readers who will be going to an up-coming game.

  • Use public transport where possible. Metrobuses will be running on match days from the Sandton Transport Hub to the Westgate Transport Hub. These buses will be running every 10 minutes.
  • Leave home early. Try and avoid the last minute rush into stadiums
  • No food or beverages may be brought into the stadium
  • bottles, cups, jugs or cans of any kind as well as other objects made from plastic, glass or any other fragile, non-shatterproof or especially tough material or Terapak packaging are prohibited

  • No recording of sound images or footage other than for private use
  • No animals will be permitted to enter the stadia. Some French and Nigerian fans were upset because they had to leave chickens outside
  • Motorcycle helmets are not allowed inside the stadium
  • No pass outs are allowed. Once you enter the stadium you will not be allowed to exit and re-enter. Don’t forget your jersey or vuvuzela in the car!
  • Kuduzelas are not allowed inside stadiums
  • Obey speed limits. Even though the roadworks have been cleared between the Sunninghill and Maraisburg exits the speed limit is NOT 120kp/h. The speed limit is 100kp/h. Sneaky, we know, but don’t get caught unawares
  • If you plan on buying a few beers at the stadium (about R30 each) be sure to take cash as debit/credit card facilities are not available

In case you missed it last week:
Download the match schedule (PDF)
Download road closure information (PDF)

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