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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora