Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This is it. I am surrounded by at least ten thousand German football fans, and perhaps a thousand Serbian supporters. And lots of South Africans, some Australians, some Brits, and plenty of excited school children. 28 000 spectators.
The excitement is infectious. The music invites us to dance – and we do. Vuvuzelas (plastic trumpets that have become the symbol of this competition) are being enthusiastically blown by hundreds of Germans around me. As I reach for my ear plugs I am aware that there are more white people blowing this African football appendage than black people. This long thin trumpet is actually a wonderful unifier of people at a football match.
The football is wonderful. This stadium brings spectators close to the game. We can taste the sweat of the players, sense their anguish at missing goals, and smell the impending joy of the underdogs as they trounce the mighty German team. The facilities are magnificent, the ease of access is great, and the game makes the trip well worth the effort
For just a moment I glimpse what it is to belong to the human race without tribal barrier, racial prejudice, or cultural reserve. It feels great to be a human being on planet earth.
Now for that bus trip back home