Friday 11 June 2010

World Cup 2010 - Day One

The World Cup has started! At last, the wait is finally over.

Once you grow up, there are few things in life that generate that child like excitement you remember having as a kid! The start of a World Cup is one of those occasions that remind me of that feeling!

The fact that it's in South Africa and Africa's first World Cup has given this tournament a different feel. There's a greater sense of symbolism about the event, it's not just another World Cup!

There's been so much talk and debate about whether South Africa could and should stage this competition. Of course it can't possibly change immediately many of the problems the country faces. But it shouldn't be underestimated the symbolic importance of staging this event.

It's another major milestone for South Africa in its journey, which started with the release of Nelson Mandela 20 years ago!

See Images from the opening day here.

South Africa get the party started with their first goal against Mexico.

This is a great goal! And I love the celebration! They're like an African boy band. When it comes to choreographed goal celebrations nobody does it better than African nations!
It's a shame South Africa could only draw 1-1 with Mexico. It would have been great for them to start off with a victory.

Earlier this evening I was watching BBC news which lead with the World Cup as its main story.

What really struck me was the hope, euphoria and enthusiasm for the competition that the people have. You wouldn't find this in a European World Cup.

It made me think back to when I was growing up in the 80s, there never seemed to be any positive news out of South Africa. Everything focused on the battles against Apartheid and the oppression of the majority black population.

It doesn't feel that long ago and it's amazing to think that we've arrived at the point that we have.

This tournament should hopefully see some great football, but also be a showcase for the very best that Africa has to offer, in terms of its people and culture.

It's also a chance for the new South Africa to show that out of all the old and current problems, there's a young and vibrant nation ready to announce itself to the world.

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