The night was foggy and the environs of the Royal Bafokeng Stadium poorly lit.
We had just finished a nightmare journey to reach the England v USA clash at last summer’s World Cup on-time, though little did we know the absurdly delayed drive to Rustenburg from Johannesburg would be as nothing compared to the never-ending story that was the trip back.
Two hours after the final whistle we were still waiting to leave the car park, or rather the strip of wasteland commandeered to house the many vehicles used by fans visiting the 42,000 venue; Rustenburg had no railway station.
What was FIFA thinking handing the World Cup to a place like this, I thought. A veritable nightmare for visiting fans, by some margin the most inconvenient of the six World Cup finals I had attended. Then I got my answer – a military Togel Online helicopter, searchlights beaming through the gloom, hovered in to land. The doors opened and a posse of security ushered US Vice-President Joe Biden into the stadium.
Biden doubtless had a five-star experience of the World Cup like all FIFA dignitaries did, and the TV feed did its job in pumping the games into people’s homes across the globe.
But what about the real fans, those of us who had shelled out to be there in the South African winter in person. Did anyone care about our experience of the World Cup?
Talking of winter, and in South Africa the thermometer dipped below zero on many nights, a winter World Cup in the Middle East in 2022 looks ever likelier now the International Players’ Union has come out in favour of it.
FIFPRO has added to calls from Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini, endorsed by Sepp Blatter and …