Brazilian fever hits Cape Town

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cape Town - Hundreds of South Africans and Brazilians decked out in yellow packed Sea Point Civic Centre to watch Brazil beat North Korea 2-1 in their opening match on Tuesday night.

The Western Cape Provincial Government and the city's tourism agency, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, have transformed the civic centre into Casa Little Brazil - a Brazilians fan site, complete with internet access and local tourism information.

Fans entering the hall are greeted by beach sand, pamphlets on the South American country and hundreds of Brazilian flags.

For the duration of the tournament the centre will act as a place for Brazilian fans to meet up and enjoy the World Cup, while having ready access to information about the city and nearby tourist sites.

Opening the event, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde called for increased business ties between Brazil and South Africa.

Though the caipirinhas weren't nearly as good as they make them in Brazil, fans still had fun shaking their hips to Brazilian dancers and Samba Nago - a two piece samba band entertained the crowd - as they waited for the match to begin.

Flat screens dotting the hall and a three-metre high screen placed on the centre's stage, made viewing easy.

Many South Africans were there just to soak up the atmosphere from the vibrant Brazilians, but some like Nitesh Dhoogar, from Johannesburg, came to Casa Little Brazil in the hope of seeing some Brazilian girls.

Before the match most Brazilian and South African fans were hopeful that the sele~ao could produce three or four goals and that the North Koreans would struggle to score, but despite the result fans had a ball in South Africa.

Ivan Jos, Tranquillim from Sao Paulo said it was his first time in South Africa and his third World Cup, but that this one was the best so far.

Said Felipe de Macedo from Rio de Janeiro: "It's a very nice, beautiful country, it's like Brazil and I want to come back here again to see the summer, because it's an amazing country".

De Macedo said he and his friends were unable to buy tickets to the match that night, but that he did have tickets for the Brazil versus Ivory Coast game on Sunday at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

Cesar Coleta, also from Sao Paulo commented that the organisation of this World Cup was very good and that the people were very welcoming, while Roberto Silva said South Africans were similar to Brazilians in that they liked to party and were an energetic people.

Events at the Brazilian fan parks will be communicated on local Cape Town radio station Heart 104.9 fm at 7:20am and 1.40pm.

Fans that want to attend Casa Little Brazil during the World Cup can book at Computicket at R60 a ticket.

Another venue - the Lookout Village, above the Breakwater Lodge at the V&A Waterfront, also has a limited number of tickets available.