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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid