Thursday, June 10, 2010
"If you didn't come to party, then why did you come here?"
THOUSANDS of fans streamed the streets, cheering on the football heroes basking in glory on an open-top bus.
Hang on – isn’t this how World Cups are supposed to finish, not begin?
Then again, when your team fears becoming the first host nation to fall at the first hurdle, it might be best to celebrate when you still can.
Roads jammed, offices emptied and those pesky vuvuzela horns honked hard as the South Africa squad took a not-quite-earned-yet lap of honour around the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton.
The South Africans could yet surprise, of course – suddenly looking like they might just be the best-performing African team after all.
They go into tomorrow’s big kick-off on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run, under the leadership of Brazilian World Cup-winner Carlos Parreira.
And their continental rivals have been hit by injuries to Jon Obi Mikel’s ankle, Michael Essien’s knee, Didier Drogba’s elbow and Samuel Eto’o’s ego.
The hosts have at least shown already they can party hard – and fast. Win or – yes, much more probably – lose, yesterday’s gala won’t be the last.