Security walkout at Green Point; Denmark self-destruct against The Netherlands; Cameroon lose to Japan; Italy draw with Paraguay; Blatter gives his Tweet of approval to vuvuzelas; Indian fan wants Germany to win so he can dig up the whisky buried in his garden. Really.
Following the protests by security staff at Moses Mabhida in Durban after the Australia-Germany match, security stewards at Green Point stadium in Cape Town, staged a walkout before the Italy-Paraguay game. The security staff, who are employed by private contractor Stallion Security, are involved in a wage dispute. The police were called in to provide security at the match, and will continue to play this role in both Cape Town and Durban until the matter is resolved. The local organising committee was furious, with chief Danny Jordaan calling the action “unacceptable”. Fair enough, it’s embarrassing for the committee to be caught off guard, but then again, the measly R190 a shift paid to the security personnel in Durban is also pretty embarrassing.
Denmark vs The Netherlands was one of the matches that raised a potential security red flag in terms of terrorist attacks, but it turns out the biggest danger was viewers falling asleep, during yet another boring game. Many teams seem scared of losing their first World Cup game, and this doesn’t make for exhilarating play, although it didn’t stop the hapless combination of Poulsen and Aggers scoring the first own goal of the tournament to put The Netherlands ahead 1-0. Not a story they’ll proudly be recounting to their grandchildren. Kuyt then scored a late goal in the 85th minute to wrap the game up for the Dutch.
In perhaps the biggest upset in a fairly predictable World Cup so far, Japan beat Cameroon 1-0 in Bloemfontein. The indomitable lions were anything but as Honda hit the back of the net in the 39th minute. Japan, who were hardly on top form coming into the tournament, were hugely chuffed to have won their first World Cup match ever on foreign soil. Cameroonian coach Le Guen made some strange decisions in leaving Song on the bench and playing Eto’o out of his normal centre-forward position. His team’s chances of advancing to the second round aren’t looking particularly strong at the moment.
Defending champions Italy started the 2010 tournament off feeling slighted when former French player Patrick Vieira was asked to symbolically hand over the trophy to the LOC and Fifa, rather than an Italian player. With their noses thus out of joint, their first match vs Paraguay continued the Azzurri’s tradition of getting off to a slow start in World Cup tournaments. The Italian’s 1-1 draw vs Paraguay was a toughly contested match, played in cold, rainy conditions more reminiscent of Europe than Africa, with Jabulani again receiving criticism.
You’d think that the vuvuzelas made enough noise on their own, but critics still can’t resist adding their voices to the ruckus. It’s the British who are complaining the most loudly, and now the BBC has said it might try to broadcast “vuvu-free” matches. South Africans may yet have the last laugh, as more than 1 million vuvuzelas have reportedly been sold in the UK, and they may yet blast their way into Premiership matches next season. Herr Sepp is on South Africa’s side for this one, Tweeting yesterday: “I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound… Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?” (And if you’re wondering, yes, he does have a verified account.)
And the crazy fan of the day award goes to Putul Bora from India. He received his 15 minutes of fame when the wires reported that he buried a bottle of whiskey in his garden 16 years ago – and only plans to retrieve, and drink it, when Germany next lifts the World Cup. Bora became a life-long fan of Germany after watching them lose the 1986 final to the Argentinians and, naturally, he was cheering on the German’s 4-0 victory over the Aussies on Sunday. Bora bought the whiskey for the princely sum of $14. We hope it matures well.
Tuesday’s matches (all GMT +2)
13:30 New Zealand vs Slovakia, Rustenburg
16:00 Ivory Coast vs Portugal, Port Elizabeth
20:30 Brazil vs North Korea, Johannesburg (Ellis Park)
By Theresa Mallinson
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