All Roads to South Africa for 2010 FIFA World Cup
Be a sport fan!!!
Thirty two teams will compete to the most popular sports in the world, that is soccer football, in South Africa for 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association )World Cup. Camaraderie and brotherhood, crossing countries and color bonding, languages…these are the main goals of the sport that kicks off on June 11 (Friday).
As South African Ambassador to the Philippines, Pieter Vermeulen, hopefully quipped, “people get together, sit with their companions and family” in order to witness the most participated world cup to date. He proudly said that there are six national soccer teams in South Africa that will participate in the world cup. Vermeulen also assured the visitors from other countries that there will be tight security since it is a huge national effort and commitment. I’m sure, it’s been a busy year for the SA government headed by President Jacob Zuma.
The planning stage for the cup started in 2008. Ambassador Vermeulen and the government of South Africa even hired skilled workers from the Philippines in order to renovate the Loftus Vefter Stadium which will house 50 thousand spectators.
Popular teams in the 2010 FIFA World Cup are lead by Brazil, England, Portugal, Greece, France and Spain. In this side of Asia, South Korea is the team to watch for. As of this writing, they’d already beaten the Greece, 2-0, in the elimination round. As for the six teams of the host country, South Africans have the right to rejoice because for the past years, they’ve been able to grabbed the highest feat in the world cup in 2004. So, no doubt about it, they have all the opportunities to showcase their skills in the playing field.
Football for Hope
Each game match in the 2010 FIFA World Cup means a lot to homeless children around the world who are being taken care of in many orphanages.
FIFA needs at least 10 million US dollars to sustain health care and education of these kids. For every goal made of the participating teams, they will donate it to the foundation called Football for Hope.
Meanwhile, the HOMELESS WORLD CUP that is empowering homeless youth is going to be held in September in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is seven years now, since 1983. Team Philippines is preparing so hard nowadays because they're number one in their division here in Asia.
Reach Higher, Kick Further
This is the goal of the local Philippine soccer team called Futkaleros founded by Pete Amores. Although, we didn’t send a team to this world cup, Amores said that they’re going to pursue such ambition in his lifetime.
Personally, I had my share of playing soccer in high school during our intramurals selection. I didn’t pursue it due to the scarcity of athletics fund in the school. I just settled in archery where I did well, too.
Pete Amores will also be a sport commentator during the live telecast in Studio 23 (ABS-CBN) during the month long satellite broadcast of the 64 matches in the local television station.
Travel man going to South Africa
Well, not for now. Although, I’ve been there in South Africa in 2002, it’s much better to watch the games in sports channel in local television station. The arid weather can affect both the players and the spectators.
Still, you can enjoy many historical sites in the country. You can visit the Science and Technology Museum Union Building where former SA President Nelson Mandela delivered his memorable speech for freedom and the end of apartheid in the country.
To get away with noise and gay atmosphere of the games, you can enjoy the waters of Sunshine Coast at Port Elizabeth. You can also enjoy the nightlife in Durban. The City of Capetown have an array of hotels and thrift gift shops just overlooking the bay and of course the breathtaking Table Mountain. From there, you can also visit Robin Island where President Mandela was exiled.
Don’t forget to visit Pretoria University where the highest number of female football players in the world are there. You should visit the Kruger National Park in Polo wane (former Petersburg) where you can found the oldest living tree specie called baobab (resembles like a bulb).
South Africa boosts huge natural reserves including exotic animals. It is also a breeding ground for many animals at sea, like the dolphins. When our ship was in Durban, we enjoyed watching may bottle-nosed dolphins playing near the vessel.
Learn the tricks in soccer football
The basics of playing soccer are so easy. If you know how to kick a ball, that’s a good start. Only the tricks of foot works will amaze you when you see professional players in the playing field.
At least you have 11 friends to play with, you being the goal keeper. You will no longer dribble the ball with the hands but with your feet. You’ll have to master the dribbling feints or fakes like the side step, double side steps, scissor or double scissors.
Soccer: Going back in time
My fellow Greek seafarers are going gaga on soccer because their national team won the European league in 2004. They said that they7 invented it as one of their ball games in the ancient Olympics.
Comparing basketball to soccer, they said they’re tired seeing men shooting balls in the hoops or basket. They like playing in the soccer fields (Well, to each his own.).
England is the one who popularized the game, then it spread in South America that made Brazil and Argentina as the two formidable latin countries when it comes to the said sport.
So, there. Happy viewing to all soccer fans!!!