While there’s been a lot written about ticket costs and distribution problems limiting access to the World Cup matches for the “average” South African, I did see a lot of them at today’s Cape Town match between Portugal and North Korea.
This is the first day game we’ve had in Cape Town, and that means we’ve seen children in large numbers for the first time at Green Point. While schools are out for the duration of the tournament, the kids did come in school groups wearing their uniforms.
I met children from Cloetsville High School in Stellenbosch, a community in wine country about an hour outside of Cape Town. They took part in a recycling competition sponsored by a multi-national corporation, and won 100 tickets.
I also met some kids from Caledon, another community about 40 minutes outside of Cape Town.
These are the students from Swartberg Secondary School.
The very first group that caught my eye were these elementary students from Naphakade School, in Ilingelethu, south of Malmesbury.
They’re from a new settlement (1994) where unemployment runs upwards of 60% Getting to this match is no doubt a huge treat.
During the match, I sat next to this group of Portugal supporters. They are from Kimberley, SA, and traveled nine hours by car to get to the match.
I was surprised to find out that they don’t have any Portuguese roots or connections. They just decided to adopt the Portugal side, and I suspect the girls in the group (who adore Ronaldo) had something to say about the decision.
Finally, I met these visitors who’ve made the trip from Portugal. They are thoroughly enjoying Cape Town, and weren’t the least bit nervous before the match (which is why they could eat so heartily).
They had no reason to be nervous, as the final score indicates:
North Korea 0
Onto to their final first round matches with Brazil and Cote D’Ivoire.