Fans are pouring into Johannesburg just hours out from the kickoff of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With hundreds of international and domestic flights landing at the OR Tambo International Airport, even thousands of feet above the ground the World Cup spirit is being felt.
Making their way to Johannesburg to watch the home team battle it out in tomorrow’s Soccer City opener against Mexico, passengers on a flight from King Shaka International Airport in Durban had only one thing on the mind.
“I am so emotional, I don’t know if I will even be able to watch the match because I will probably be crying,” said Sarasvathi Govender who travelled to Johannesburg with eight members of her family. “I could feel the adrenalin kicking in since yesterday and I’m so excited.”
Her family will be supporting Bafana Bafana all the way, she added. “We have brought our flags and vuvuzelas, and even our houses in Durban are decorated. I think our boys are going to make it.”
Larry Archery, an engineer, said he and his seven travelling companions would attend the kick off concert as well as the opening game. “We decided to travel to Johannesburg because of the excitement and thrill associated with being part of the World Cup. I think it’s awesome.”
“We have waited such a long time to host this tournament, and it’s not going to be exciting just in terms of football. I think it’s going to be exciting for the country too. It’s going to bring people together. I think with every single Bafana Bafana game there are going to be 45 million South Africans wanting the same thing,” he added.
Eight-year-old Mohamed Moosa said he was feeling very excited about tomorrow’s game. “Im going because it happens one time in a life.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of Mexico fans landed at Oliver Tambo International Airport amidst a cacophony of vuvuzelas. “It is great to see the South Africans celebrating together,” said Santiago Iturbe. “Everybody who sees me in my Mexico jersey tells me ‘We are going to beat you 3-0’, it’s fantastic.”
He admitted that Bafana Bafana are a force to be reckoned with. “I think it should be a good game. Statistically, Mexico should win, but you never know - the home team are very motivated and it’s hard to beat somebody at home.”