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Bafana Bafana bring traffic to a joyful crawl

By Liz Clarke
bafanafan.jpg

Photo by Liz Clarke

An estimated 185,000 South African soccer fans poured from office buildings, perched on balconies, clambered atop rooftops and clogged city streets Wednesday to cheer Bafana Bafana as a double-decker bus ferried the nation's beloved squad through the heart of Johannesburg's Sandton business district.

With traffic brought to a halt, joyful South Africans honked car horns, blew vuvuzelas, sang and danced throughout the "United We Shall Stand Parade" in a show of support 48 hours before the host nation is set to open the 2010 World Cup against Mexico.

The parade was scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., but thousands of would-be revelers were stacked up on the main interstate leading to Sandton more than an hour into the party. So drivers created lanes that didn't exist or abandoned their cars on the roadsides and median, choosing to walk the rest of the way instead, children in tow.

In the heart of Sandton a helicopter hovered over the scene as a sea of yellow jerseys surrounding the bus. On the top deck and clearly visible to the crowd were South African's soccer stars, who waved and took pictures of their own. They were joined by their Brazilian coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, who appears to be more popular just now than President Jacob Zuma (also on hand) after leading Bafana Bafana through 12 consecutive matches without a defeat in the run-up to the World Cup.

"It Is Here!" proclaimed one fan's hand-lettered sign. "Thank You [FIFA President] Sepp Blatter. We Say No to Racism."

By Steve Goff  |  June 9, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , South Africa  | Tags: Bafana Bafana, South Africa, World Cup  
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Next: Video: Join in Bafana Bafana's parade

Comments

Posted by: nairbsod | June 9, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The picture on the Fifa website is awesome. There's some good ones on the blog on the US Soccer website, too.


Reignking, and you other Atlanta/-ish folks, where do you guys plan on watching Saturday?

For those of you with access and unaware, Brian McBride just scored in the 8th minute in Gonjeou or however you spell it on ESPN Classic.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I am planning on Cabbagetown (http://atlantasoccerfest.org/) because it is outdoors, but I am worried about 1) parking and 2) kids.

Another option is a bar, like 5 Seasons (probably Westside, since it is big and I think the Sandy Springs one is smoking; would have to check).

Park Tavern is another option, but $30 donation to get in the door. But its on the park and there will be some 5v5 matches.

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I've considered Cabbagetown, but don't really want to be outdoors. I'm thinking Brewhouse in Little Five, but it's not that big and the Atlanta AO website suggests getting there super early. However, I do have my brother and a couple friends excited to do that.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone not excited for the hour long pre-game show that ESPN on ABC plans to run? I probably won't watch. I just use Goff for the starting line-ups.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 9, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

High of 92 on Saturday...

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I am talking about the England USA game. Sorry

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone not excited for the hour long pre-game show that ESPN on ABC plans to run? I probably won't watch. I just use Goff for the starting line-ups.

Posted by: grubbsbl

I'll be more concerned about finding beer, seating, and revelry during that hour.

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

They're planning a 30 minute pregame show before every match! I am guessing that will mostly be commercial fill time. But there's also a lot of time to fill up otherwise too. How much blather do we need.

Anybody got one of these new 3D TVs? I see Directv and Comcast are supposed to be carrying ESPN 3D which will have 25 matches in 3D.
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/453438-ESPN_Primes_Its_World_Cup_Pipe.php

Posted by: fedssocr | June 9, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So do we have confirmation yet, that the pregame starts at 130pm est and the first kick at 230?

Anyone else looking forward to (or dreading?) the DCU/Flounders match tomorrow night? Do you think Kasey Keller will run to the aid of our keeper if he gets pelted with a bottle now that he's gotten a taste of some of his own supporters medicine?

;P

Posted by: DadRyan | June 9, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

2:30.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I created a league: 570346-121829

http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com

predictor:
167993-8759
http://en.castrol.predictor.fifa.com

Posted by: Reignking | June 9, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The official schedule on FIFA's website lists the start time of the match at 20:30 local time which is 14:30 EDT. Everything I have seen online says 2PM ABC for the broadcast. But I do seem to remember hearing 1:30 somewhere.

Posted by: fedssocr | June 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Very in depth feature on why Bob Bradley is the way he is on the ESPN homepage.

http://tinyurl.com/2afw9fh

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 9, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

My brother's first time watching the Portugal game in 02. McBride just hit his diver to go up 3-0 in the 36th and he jumped out of his chair. The next hour should be intense...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | June 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Watched part of Mexico vs USA, quarters. I forgot that Reyna played R back in that game.

Posted by: delantero | June 9, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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