Live Update From South African Based Reporter
Manchester City supporter, Mariner who lives in South Africa sent Vital Man City the very latest World Cup update.
With just a mere couple of days before the World Cup opening ceremony the South African squad has been announced. England based players, Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Steve Pienaar (Everton) and Decagon (Fulham I think) have all included however and surprisingly, Benni McCarthy, who is most definitely unfit, overweight and arrogant was not selected.
Bafan Bafana (The Boys) have just won their last two warm up games. 2-1 against Columbia and more recently 5-0 against Guatemala. The last game pre-tournament match is against Denmark later today but I have to say there has been a huge improvement in the team and they have give a much better showing than has previously been anticipated. Finishing has been the problem here and of seven goals scored four were penalties but the others were pretty good.
However, beware, South Africa has a secret weapon that may drive opponents to distraction and this is the Vuvuzela. To those not in the know this originated with the Zulu Impi's as a cows horn, used in much the same way as a bugle and now sold widely in a plastic version. The sound of 30 - 40,000 of these altogether is a mind-numbing cacophony of sound that drowns out every other noise, including team communication, the referee's whistle and worst of all, overrides TV commentary.
This goes on during the build up to the match, throughout the ninety minutes and long after the final whistle, especially if the home nation had done well. The noise level is estimated at 70 decibels which in itself is close to the human ears short term tolerance, so multiply that by the number of spectators and the result for the non Africanado is horrendous.
On the political front, the harbours strike is over after 17 days as is the rail strike, but we have also come close to a strike by the electricity workers which was only halted by an Act of Parliament declaring it to be an essential industry.
President Zuma is reporting to be expected his...wait for it...21st child by one of his four wives. The lucky chap is also engaged to his potential fifth. This would be remarkable but okay, were it not for the fact that as Head of State, all of his wives and off-springs are entitled to bodyguards and all of the perks that go along with his position. The tax payer foots the bill don't you know. Somehow I doubt British Prime Minister David Cameron would get away with that.
I of course support England but the game against Japan was (our own Joe Hart excluded) too bad for words. These guys were supposed to be playing for their inclusion in Fabio Capello's final squad. We need to find the British Bulldog spirit.
Another worrying fact is that our training camp is at 600 meters - why? Rustenburg, where the USA game will be played is close to 2000 meters and several of the other teams have been acclimatising at much closer to that altitude. We may be caught out. Additionally as you probably know there have been complaints about the official match ball, which apparently is difficult to control. Nonetheless I want a repeat of 1966 and will be praying for it.
Further live reports from South Africa will follow.