News / Africa

Win or Lose, African Fans Celebrate Africa World Cup

World Cup Fever has taken over South Africa.  Pubs and restaurants across the country are filled with fans watching the matches.  But the atmosphere is even more electric when an African team is playing. Members of Johannesburg's Nigerian community are enjoying the tournament.

Nigerian football fans, many dressed from head to toe in their green and white national colors, staged an impromptu parade through the streets of Hillbrow, central Johannesburg, before their football team's match against Argentina (Friday).

Thousands of Nigerians live and work in South Africa, far from their families.  But, when they get together, the food, the music and the conversation make it feel like home.

This World Cup has special significance here.  It is the first football World Cup on African soil.  And, because host South Africa was automatically qualified, six African teams are participating for the first time in history.

This is giving African fans a lot to cheer about.

Philip, who did not give his last name, was on his way to the stadium.  He says seeing the World Cup in Africa is one of the greatest moments of his life.

"I spend money to buy my ticket and I will be the happiest person to go to the stadium today and watch the football and see my brothers there," he said.

Nearly three million tickets have been sold to the 64 matches being played in nine cities.

Eighty-five percent of the tickets were sold to people living in South Africa.  But ticket sales in other African countries were lower than expected.

The secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Prince Adesina, speaking at a café in nearby Yeoville, said the system was too complicated.

"It's very, very strenuous. I think there should be another system of getting these tickets sold to people. It is not all that easy," he said.

FIFA, the world football association, marketed most of the tickets on its web site, saying this would make them available to people everywhere.

But many people in Africa do not have access to computers or do not have the bank credit card needed to buy products through the web.

Toward the end, FIFA did sell tickets over the counter in some South African cities and demand was high.  But, for many, it was too late.

Others said that even the cheapest ticket, about $20 and available only in South Africa, was too much for their budget.

But those who could not get a ticket still celebrated in the fan parks, on the streets and in the cafes and pubs.

On the night of Nigeria's first World Cup match, the party started early at the Green House pub.  The drinks flowed freely.

That made for some ambitious predictions from fans like Charles Umah.

"We know that already Nigeria has won the game.  We are just looking for the replay of the game," he said.

As the teams came out onto the pitch, the crowd sang a Nigerian song. And, when Nigeria nearly scored, pandemonium broke out.

But Argentina scored a few minutes later and held on to win by a score of 1-0.

Although the mood was dampened somewhat, Adesina said it still was a wonderful experience.  He said African fans should come together and root for the African teams.

"When Ivory Coast is playing I'm going to be on [wearing] Ivory Coast jersey.  I'm going to support all the African teams.  And, we want to make sure that the cup is retained in Africa," he said.

He said such unity would be one of the legacies of the World Cup.

The loss did not stop the party. The celebrations continued into the early morning hours. For, although it was a tough night for Nigeria on the pitch (playing field), it was still a good time football fans in South Africa.

And all agreed that, with nearly one month to go before the final on July 11, there will be many more opportunities for their teams to score and for fans to celebrate Africa's World Cup.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid