World Cup Opens 27

I am watching the World Cup opening ceremony, and it is absolutely breathtaking. The sheer scale, the grandeur, the majestic sweeping order, the colour, the spectacle, of those ranks upon ranks, rows upon serried rows, of absolutely empty orange seats! Bank upon bank, line upon line of starkly empty, glaringly orange seats! It is grandly symbolic, it is conceptual art, it should get the Turner Prize!

Oh sorry, it’s just a huge cock-up that shows the stupidity of taking an event this size to South Africa.

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27 thoughts on “World Cup Opens

  • Iain Orr


    They do these things better in China, but despite its size it’s a long way from producing a Mandela or a Bishop Tutu.

  • Matt Keefe

    Sepp Blatter looks well at home amongst that level of corruption and ineptitude, though, doesn’t he?

  • angrysoba

    “Wouldn’t have happened if Scotland were playing”

    Scottish football is to football what Scottish parliaments are to parliaments.


  • Josh

    I read the blog regularly and agree with nearly everything posted, but obviously the comment comes when I disagree…

    …and the assertion is utterly ridiculous. The empty seats showed the good sense of the crowd who had no interest in the ridiculous corporatised, sanitised opening ceremony, but piled in to watch the actual football.

    Doubtless FIFA’s relentless profiteering coupled with the global recession will mean that not all the seats will be filled, but that’s hardly going to make SA 2010 unique (you might want to check out some of the attendances when England hosted Euro 96 as well as the 66 WC).

    And even if each match was only played to 10,000 fans it would still not make it a bad decision to give Africa a World Cup a mere 80 years after the first one was held.

  • Paul

    Some reasons why I won’t be watching the World Cup, the Olympics, Golf, or any other big sporting events:

    — World Cup (South Africa)

    ‘Life in ‘Tin Can Town’ for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup’

    ‘South Africa’s World Cup is a disgrace’

    ‘Press: Kicked Out for the Cup?’

    ‘South Africa’s Poor Targeted by Evictions, Attacks in Advance of 2010 World Cup’

    — Olympics (China)

    ‘Someone Else’s Legacy’

    ‘Forced evictions sour Olympic dream for some’

    ‘COHRE’s Olympics Report’

    — Golf

    ‘Playing in the Rough’

    ‘The Junta’s Accomplices ‘

    ‘Tripping Up Trump’

    — Formula-1

    ‘Gypsies in Rome resist eviction for F1 track’

  • Paul

    Re ”COHRE’s Olympics Report’ above. Especially page 154, saying approximately 1.25 million people relocated for Beijing Olympics-related construction.

  • ScouseBilly

    Matt Keefe at June 11, 2010 3:03 PM

    Couldn’t agree more.

    England to beat Argentina in the final would be nice 😉

  • Renato

    Stupid is to charge European prices from an African public. I fear it will be the same here in Brazil, four years from now.

  • ScouseBilly

    Life is a raffle

    night and day

    Life is a raffle

    and go and go

    If I were Maradona

    I’d live with him

    a thousand rockets, 1000 friends

    and what will come a 1000 times 100

    If I? were Maradona

    I’d appear on Mondovision

    to shout songs by Manu Chao to FIFA

    because they are the big thief

  • alan campbell

    Dear Paul

    I take it you’re more of a “night down the pub having a good old laugh with your mates” man?

  • Redders

    @Paul at June

    Oh for God’s sake, it’s a game of football. If we all lived by George Monbiots life philosophy we would all have slashed our wrists in a bath of bubbling strawberry jam by now.

  • Redders

    “put me up”….Err, I feel that may mean something different on a Rio beach. ~Ahem~ ………..maybe, find me dwellings?

  • Brain

    Very true Ian….As was evident at last nights kick off concert..a st Andrews flag waving in the augience….great to ess Brazil flages onstage too.

    We know that fiba in scotland is in a sorry state…but the national team (just as sorry) but a very different matter…the scots party with the worlds locals whether we win or lose.

    Some nations could learn from the tartan army

  • Vronsky

    I’ve been watching BBC television (again) and it’s obvious that the seats are empty as the result of the tournament is a foregone conclusion. England will win in a canter, and I don’t know why the others are even bothering to show up. Why did’t the South Africans save themselves a lot of money and hassle and just post the cup off to London?

  • ingo

    Vronsky, my dear friend, recognise that delusionary thinking and ueber believe in oneself, not to speak of media hype and over expectation created and fostered by the press, all were reasons as to why England performed so dismally last time.

    So, hang about a bit with your personal wishfull thinking and let them play.

    My guess is that the final will be between Brazil and Argentina, whatever people think of Maradona.

    Watch Ivory coast, Cameroon and Ghana, although they are missing a main striker, they all will play their hearts out.

    We will see amazing football and hopefully, should lady luck have it, an African team will win, who knows, as long as it is not Italy, I don’t care who wins.

  • Vronsky

    Hi ingo- I was being sarcastic. All sane and right-thinking Scots (not, alas, a majority) will be taking the advice of the BBC and crossing their fingers whenever England play….and I’m being a bit Delphic there too…

  • Arsalan

    England vs US, I’m rooting for England, not because I like England but because

    1 nil, 1 nill 1 nill 1 nill

    Who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies,

    You fat bastard, you fat bastard,,

    You ate all the pies!!!

  • vronsky

    A huge national tragedy for England. So difficult to believe that a vulgar tribe of – what were they? Merrikins? – could so completely fail to understand the proper order of things. Don’t these savages watch BBC?

  • geraint

    the empty seats aren’t because it’s hosted in South Africa, they’re because the tickets are (apart from a small allocation) priced at several times what the vast majority of SA citizens could afford. And even more so because the ludicrous % of tickets that are corporate ones for FIFA’s many, many lucrative ‘official sponsors’ – most of which get sold on even when it’s hosted somewhere like Germany that they can get to. Greed is why there are thousands of empty seats, the location is only a minor secondary reason.

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