Just in case you don’t know, Johannesburg is hosting the World Cup Football in 2010, and the Soccer City Stadium, about 30 minutes from the downtown by car, is its main venue. I’ve working there, but I was lucky enough to be able to see one of the matches at the stadium.
What do you know about Johannesburg? Well, I almost didnt know anything about the city. I didn’t even know that Johannesburg is not the capital of South Africa… Some people may have concerns about the safety issues in the city, but all the people I’ve met there were extremely friendly and happy people. I couldn’t believe all the facts (or rumor) about its crime rate that had been told on the newspapers or reported on the TV.
Johannesburg is accommodating two football stadiums for the World Cup 2010. Ellis Park Stadium is located in the center of the downtown area. The Rugby World Cup in 1995 took place (watch the movie, Invictus) here and the name of the stadium was taken from William Webb Ellis, who is famous for inventing the game rugby. The other one, and the brand new one, is the Soccer City Stadium, which was built for the World Cup 2010. The opening ceremony, opening match and the final match are held here. The shape of the stadium reminds me of the main venue of the Olympic Game 2008 in Beijing.
The stadium is very quiet on non-match days, but it becomes one of the loudest place on the planet on a match day. Thousands of football fans flock into the stadium. Hundreds of security people are stationed everywhere from the public entrance to the pitch side. People are required to go through the metal detector gates to enter the stadium. It seems to be legal to carry firearms in South Africa and you see signs here and there saying “All the firearms need to be checked in at the security counters.”
The match we saw was between Argentina and Mexico. Not to mention the famous Vuvusera, there were people with huge drums, people with big Mexican sombreros with wrestling masks… I really enjoyed watching those people, and of course photographing them as well.
Netherlands? Germany? Spain? Who’s gonna put the hands on the golden trophy??? I can’t wait to see.