Why going to South Africa for the World Cup terrifies me | Louise Taylor | Football | guardian.co.uk

Why going to South Africa for the World Cup terrifies me | Louise Taylor | Football | guardian.co.uk.

Going to the World Cup means so much more than just going to games. The ticket allocation process and travel limits the average fan to a fraction of the 64 game tournament leaving tons of time to kill. Maybe thats a bad phrase to use considering South Africa’s world record in murder rate.

South Africa is a beautiful country with world class tourist accomodations masking incredible poverty, crime, and violence.

World Cup crowds love to wander around the host country between games trying to maximize the experience. World Cup Germany 2006 was a huge success because fans could combine their game experience with public view parties and side trips around the German countryside without fear.

The World Cup is a non-stop party where public drunkeness is standard with typically minor consequences like bad hangovers and temporary detention for the most unruly fans being the worst possible result. Crime is dominated to pickpockets and the prostitutes that follow the World Cup in the same way as the Super Bowl; part of the scene but not a major factor in crime. 

World Cup South Africa 2010 will be radically different. It isn’t a place to rent a car and wander through South Africa with the same degree of safety as in most of Europe and North America. The best bet for fans is to stick with heavily supervised official tourist locations. Safe but not quite the feeling of freedom and unity so evident in Germany.  A few fans won’t exercise common sense and good judgement  and will suffer as a result. For those who understand the rules of engagement and follow them, they’ll have the experience of a lifetime.

World Cup South Africa 2010 still has unresolved issues primarily stadium construction and transportation but the smart money is on the organizers to pull off a successful tournament.

Robert Woodard is the author of Black People Don’t Play Soccer?: Unlocking American Soccer’s Secret Weapon, a visionary look at the future of American soccer. BPDPS is a compelling analysis of African-Americans and soccer with the bonus of historical accounts of soccer’s development in the US and an encyclopedia of players of African descent around the world. Take a look inside the book at www.blackpeopledontplaysoccer.com

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~ by zrwoodard on July 12, 2009.

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