CT supporters, fans ready to party

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cape Town - The excitement is building in the mother city ahead of the World Cup game in the city tonight between Uruguay and France, as soccer supporters swamped roads around the Cape Town Stadium, forcing the Fifa Fan Fest to close when it hit capacity just hours after opening.

At the Waterfront, fans from France, Uruguay and South Africa swamped restaurants and bars.

Pablo Aischar from Montevideo, Uruguay said: "This is an incredible party. All the South African supporter are very nice".

Aischar, who was with a group of about 200 supporters drumming it up and cheering in a circle at the Waterfront, said the match today was very important for Uruguay.

"We have to fight and remember our mystique that made us two times world champions," he said.

French supporters Ben and Fanny Dusastne, who are from Paris originally, but living in Los Angeles said they were unsure about how France would do tonight.

"France is usually a team that has some issues with either the coach, players or different things. It's always a surprise with France, they could place very well or very bad," said Fanny.

Ben said they were very excited to be in South Africa

"We were kind of hesitant about coming to South Africa, because of the whole stereotype about the violence and everything, but we were very pleasantly surprised.

"Infrastructure has been great, walking from down town to here (Green Point). The only negative is that the fan place (Fifa Fan Fest) only host 25 000, so they shut down within like an hour so that means you have to find another spot to watch.

"But so far so good we rented a car and we're travelling through the country for a month and we hope that every other city is as good as this one," said Ben.

Ben said it was impressive how passionate the country was about the World Cup.

"Paris in '98 was not nearly as behind the event as you guys are," he said.

Meanwhile, South African fans today were out in full celebration on the streets of Cape Town.

"It's very exciting and once-in-a-lifetime and I'm enjoying it very much," said Anja Niemann from Cape Town, who was getting psyched up for the match between France and Uruguay.

Niemann said she was just going to enjoy the match but would probably be supporting France.

Zinilee Mitchell from Cape Town, who was also on her way to watch the Uruguay-France match, said the event was the "best thing" that has happened to Cape Town.

Mitchell said today had been a "crazy" day because she had only had three hours sleep last night after coming back from the welcoming party held on the Grand Parade in the city.

Keorapetse Totang from Cape Town said he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Totang said he "eats, sleeps and lives" football and that as he didn't have a ticket so he would probably be watching the games today from a screen at the Waterfront.

Fans have been going crazy with thousands of Bafana Bafana tops being sold in the city.
Bronwyn Jullies, floor manager of Totalsports at the Waterfront said that between yesterday and today the store had tripled its usually daily turnover, just on the sale of soccer jerseys and paraphernalia alone.

Jullies said the store had sold out of its Bafana Bafana t-shirts which it had been selling for R199 each. In all 400 were sold so far today.

She said Bafana Bafana tops made up about 90% of the sale of jerseys and t-shirts, with most of the remaining jerseys being Portugal and Dutch tops.

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