Would you camp out on a cricket field for two weeks to watch your country’s team compete at the World Cup? If you said no, then you are clearly not an Aussie. Read on about the socceroos and let me know what you think about them.
The site of army tents on the cricket pitch at the Kingsmead Oval in Durban is off-putting at first. And I’m not sure what thought is more scary: military personnel emerging from the tents, or 12-hundred Australian soccer fans (most of them not literally half in the bag).
The latter is the scene we (CBC TV crew) discovered earlier today when looking for a place to shoot a preview of the Australian-Germany match-up at the World Cup in Durban. And to be fair, I shouldn’t suggest that everyone was drinking, but many of them were!
The scene reminded of a provincial camping ground, with a FIFA-twist.
Over on side out of front of the stadium, a group of Aussies played pick-up soccer with some Zulus in their traditional dress.
On the grass, in the sun, others were trying to recover from a night with far too little sleep. Still at least one person managed a smile for the camera, as she waited to head over to the stadium for the match.
Of course, a campground with all the amenities has much to offer, including the ice cream vendor.
What I didn’t anticipate was the huge eating tent serviced by se veral large screen televisions and speakers. When I was there, they were watching the Slovenians beat the Algerians.
When I asked a couple of the fellas from Sydney why they had made the trip, they said, “why not? This is awesome.” He added that it’s better than being home, though if you check out this story, you’ll see the socceroos who stayed in Australia are also having fun.
It’s not the kind of camping trip I ever envisioned, but I didn’t see too many long faces today. Of course, their team hadn’t yet played the mighty Germans!