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World Cup Update From South African Based City Fan

Mike Robinson aka Mariner, a Manchester City supporter based in South Africa sent Vital MC the following World Cup update.

The stadiums are in place and deserve to rank amongst some of the best in the world, with the Durban complex complete with an iconic arch certainly the most spectacular.

Infrastructure around the stadiums is complete but the work has been at the expense of the rest of the City with potholes galore, malfunctioning traffic lights and dirty streets. Hopefully there will be a clean up before the big day.

Bafana-Bafana after training camps in Brazil (the coach Carlos Parreira hails from there so this was a good paid holiday for him) and Germany are now back in South Africa and the European based players, amongst them Steve Pienaar, Aaron Mokoena and Benni McCarthy are joining. The latter is still overweight, unfit and seems to think that SA owe him a place, but unless his finger is extracted rapidly this seems doubtful.



In the most recent warm up games the host nation drew with Namibia 1-1 in a very poor game, but following the cancellation of a game against China has just beaten Thailand 4-0 which was a welcome improvement on the goal scoring front.

Here in South Africa the workforce has been treated pretty badly, wage and condition wise for some years now and have obviously seen the impending World Cup as a chance to put pressure on employers and the Government. Transnet (harbours etc) workers have now been out on strike for eleven days and all SA's ports are at a standstill at very heavy economic cost and Metro rail employees have followed suit with no trains running country wide since last Monday. Wage offers of 8% have been turned down with the unions demanding 15%, but today there are some signs of agreement being concluded in the port strike.

FIFA appear to be running this event like the Mafia. Nobody without a FIFA permit can do any World Cup related business with the relevant permit and these cost big bucks - certainly much more than local small business's can afford. One popular pub close to the ground has been told that they must either pay R50,000 or close down for the duration and anyway, only FIFA sponsored beer can be sold.

Pubs that wish to show the games on TV must pay R25,000 for the privilege - again well out of their range. It would appear that effectively the running of local business has been handed over to FIFA for the duration. They will make huge amounts of money at the expense of the locals. (Bastards!)

There are also rumours of Al Quaeda threats especially aimed at sensitive games such as the US-England match, but personally I think this is scare mongering in a big way - Al Quaeda do not advertise in advance.

Hopefully a successful and enjoyable World Cup and may the best British team win.

Further updates from Mike will follow.




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The journalist

Writer: Mariner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 31 2010

Time: 1:16PM

Your Comments

Good to have you back on board Mariner and thanks for the update. Look forward to your next report mate.
Thaibluefan
Must admit but i'm rather pleased to have Mariner back onboard as well TBF. Another quality WC update as usual.
Tudor
Cheers Mariner, good read.
Bluedub
great rarticle mariner, do you think that the security forces are taking the threats seriously?
Buzz Lightyear
A fascinating insight and yet another terrific coup for VMC!
Johnny Baguette
Hi guys, I was reading today, a report from Mariner about the Durban venue and I offer a slightly different perspective. Firstly, I am from Manchester, where I left when I was in my late twenties (now 63) to live in Durban. do the sums ! I am from that magic Bell, Summerbee, Lee (pen) era Yes, I remember sticking up the Newcastle newspaper headline on the back window of our coach as we left as Div 1 winners, it read -- ' United beaten by champions ' (Newcastle United of course !) Yes I went to every home and away game that season. Yes, I was there that superb night in Vienna when we won the Cup Winners Cup (and delayed our wedding by about a year cos I spent too much) Yes I was at the FA cup final and the League Cup final. Lucky me, but we will soon see better. Back to the Durban scene. Mariner is a little pessimistic. The strike has ended and things will soon return to normality. At weekend we hosted the finish of one of the worlds biggest, if not the biggest ultra marathon,and they left behind paper and runner's litter for Africa. And now ? cleaned up already. Durban's beachfront is ready for the World cup. They have already had trial runs closing down streets for a day to see the effect of the WC programme. The rail and bus runs are in place, the fan zones are waiting for those without tickets, or far away games. True, FIFA have taken control over certain areas, but that was in the contract, and the same as all other world cups. We all know that Bafana Bafana are not going to win, but the support is there, the people are behind them and the flags, and wing mirror covers, in the form of the national flag are everywhere. Sure, we all know that people will talk of Al Quaeda threats and,God forbid, these will never happen.But remember, South Africa is a Moslem friendly country with many close allies from those countries. There are not the issues between them, like those that the USA and UK have. Visitors to Durban will soon see the more positive side, let me list a few of the more important points :- 1/ Daytime temperatures are currently averaging 23/25 deg c with not much less than 15 at night and usually higher.(it's winter remember) 2/ surf temperature is 24 deg today 3/ more importantly, 1/2 litre draught beer is about 150p. 4/ spirits less than 100p 5/ steak egg & chips bar lunch about 400p 6/ b&b accommodation (there is plenty left) about 40 UK pounds pp 7/ average price for supper for a couple, with lets say, 1 bottle of wine and 3 drinks each --- in the order of 40 uk pounds (remember, we have prawns, not the shrimps they call prawns in the UK) Compare to Cape Town rain rain rain, rip off prices Jo' burg crisp days can be 0 deg at night-- expensive So all in all, I don't think our visitors will be disappointed, they will be in for a very pleasant surprise. Geoff Nuttall
durban bluemoon
 

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