Big Picture: End of the World Cup

And so, last night brought the 2010 FIFA World Cup to a close – not (in my opinion) as exciting a game as the 3rd and 4th place between Germany and Uruguay – but for all the Spanish supporters a nail-bighting finish. Spain narrowly took the hopes and dreams away from the Dutch team in the last 3 minutes of extra time, finally giving themselves a world cup win.

Personally I found the game very scrappy and dirty, from both teams (well, the 13 yellow cards explain it all) but at the end of it all Spain just played a better game.

The closing ceremony was partly impressive, although, apart from the very nice special effects displayed the singing portion wasn’t that moving. There was a nice fireworks display at the end, one photo of which you can see in the series following the link below.

The World Cup has definitely brought us, as South African together and I can honestly say it’s made me feel more patriotic, not just as a South African, but as an African. Maybe in 2014 an African team can make it further than Ghana did this year.

As usual, the team at Boston.com‘s Big Picture has put together another great array of photographs for you. Enjoy.

After a month of matches, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament is over, with Spain claiming its first ever trophy, the Netherlands placing second, and Germany taking third place. 32 teams came to South Africa last month, and the eyes of the world were upon them as television and online viewership broke records, and in many places productivity dropped sharply when matches were being played. Collected here are photos from the second half of the tournament (see earlier entries: 123), the action on the fields, and the reactions of those following the games in both South Africa and their home countries, as we bid farewell to the 2010 World Cup. (44 photos total) – source Big Picture


Spain's Andres Iniesta lifts the World Cup trophy after their final match victory over Netherlands at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg July 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

South Africa: Keep Flying

I’m gonna keep my flag flying for 30 days, because with one spirit, this nation can achieve anything. And we’ve only just begun.

Just because the World Cup ends this week in South Africa, it doesn’t mean we should pack away our flags and simply forget.

Keep flying the flag! [via Jon]

2010 World Cup: Ghana and Africa’s dreams shattered


We’re into the final day of the quarter finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with only Argentina vs Germany and Spain vs Paraguay left before reaching the semi-finals and final games next week.

Everyone outside of South Africa was worried about being robbed of personal belongings while visiting South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, but it was in fact Ghana and the rest of Africa that were robbed last night, by one single person – his name, Luis Suarez, from the Uruguayan team.

Why, because he deliberately and maliciously stood on the goal line in the goal box while Adiyiha took the free-kick. The ball bounced around between defenders and attackers but when it clearly went towards goal and was completely missed by the Uruguayan goalie, Suarez very clearly knocked the ball clear with his hands, earning himself a red card and a penalty kick for Ghana.

But by then the game was over – it was already the last few seconds of the second half of extra time, Ghana had played their hearts out but were unfortunately beaten 4-2 in the penalty shoot out.

Along with goal-line technology that needs to be introduced by FIFA to assist referees and linesmen make more accurate calls, FIFA also needs to introduce the additional rule of awarding the team an immediate goal should such an offence be committed.

The Uruguayans are saying that Suarez took one for the team getting a red card but that’s not enough.

People were worried that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa would be controversial but the reasons are clearly very different to those originally thought of.

Ghana, Africa mourns for your loss (and theft of a win by Uruguay). May Uruguay get the hiding of their lives against Netherlands on Tuesday.

Hup Holland Hup!

If you missed it see the video below – clear as day!

Big Picture: Halfway in – 2010 World Cup

I’ve posted a number of blog posts on various photographs from Boston.com‘s Big Picture photo gallery – and I guess it’s just fitting that I share these.

The World Cup is in full swing in South Africa and so far it has been regarded by FIFA as perfect – let’s hope we can live up to their expectations and keep the standard that high for the remainder of the tournament.

Nearly halfway through the month-long 2010 World Cup Tournament in South Africa, over a dozen teams have been eliminated from the original group of 32, with the Round of 16 beginning tomorrow, June 26th. Television and web viewership has been setting records all over the world as supporters tune in to watch the events in South Africa and react along with the fans and players in the stadiums as they celebrate their wins and suffer through losses. Collected here are recent photos from the 2010 World Cup, as some of the players and their supporters have been experiencing it – in South Africa and around the globe. (43 photos total)

Serbia's Milan Jovanovic (center) scores past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (right) and Arne Friedrich during a Group D match at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth June 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

South Africa – World Cup 2010

There were many sceptics when it was first announced that we were drawn as host nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For years after, there were many that said we could not do it, even rumours about Australia being asked to be a ‘backup’ host nation.

Well, it’s been 4 years along and we’re just past half-way through all the games for the 2010 World Cup. What do people have to say now? Just positive things – all the stadia were built on time and to the FIFA standards. Additional infrastructure, road upgrades and additional public transport (free to game ticket holders) and very well organised safe and secure venues, fan parks and fan walks. Even as someone working in the city center, right smack-bang in the middle of the fan-walk no less, I’ve not been inconvenienced any more than I’d normally be in normal traffic. In fact with the school holidays coinciding with the World Cup traffic has never been better or easier.

There are always security people, officials and/or ushers wherever you look and they’re friendly and helpful. Where are all the sceptics now?

As for Bafana-Bafana? Many are saying they, and we the South African host nation, should be disgusted in ourselves? First host nation to be knocked out of the first round World Cup.

Excuse me, did you forget to take into account we’re ranked 83rd in the world? Did you forget to take note that between ourselves, and two previous world cup winners, France and Italy. We tied with 17th ranked Mexico in our opening game. We were the only country team of the three to actually win a game? One of the games, which knocked out the former world cup champions, France?

Well done South Africa, well done Bafana-Bafana.

Enjoy a short video clip put together (it has done the round as a PowerPoint presentation too).

Fila said it best, “have faith, like rugby balls!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW4nwsqgz8I

Free Digital TV Channels available in SA

A few weeks ago I bought a new TV. A nice shiny, new Sony Bravia 40″ EX400 series digital LCD TV. It’s a nice step up from our 28″ Philips CRT TV that we’ve had for almost eight years now.

It’s a great TV and I’m glad we made the choice. It’s a full HD digital TV with a great picture and flexible set of features. It has a digital and analogue tuner built in, multiple analogue and digital inputs as well as a USB port for watching DivX encoded movies directly off of a USB stick (I bought a 16GB memory stick just for that purpose).

But I digress – the actual reason for this post is related to the digital tuner. When I first plugged in the new TV and went through the setup process, part of which is auto-tuning, it picked up 12 over-the-air digital channels as well as the 5 terrestrial analogue channels.

I know there’s been a lot of media reports about digital TV coming to South Africa and it being a requirement for broadcasting the 2010 FIFA World Cup (which by the way got off to a cracking start, even though it’s difficult to work with vuvuzelas blaring in the city all day and night long) but I was always under the impression that you needed a set-top box to decode the over-the-air (not satellite) digital channels. So when I did the initial setup of the TV I wasn’t surprised that none of the digital channels the digital tuner in the TV picked up were not displaying, since I didn’t have a decoder.

However, this morning I happened to switch to the digital channels accidentally and they were being broadcast and displayed on my TV. The following channels are being broadcast and unscrambled by my TV’s digital tuner:

  • e-TV (a free terrestrial channel)
  • eAfri (not sure about this seems to be airing similar programs to e-TV)
  • Mstar (showing infomercials in between airing movies, not latest block-busters)
  • National Geographic (the one reason I wanted satellite TV)
  • eClassic (e-TV broadcast programs, not same airtime as e-TV)
  • BBC Lifestyle (one of my wife’s favourite satellite channels)
  • Koowe (kids channel, by the looks of it a South African channel)
  • MK (music video channel)

Yes, I know, for those who have satellite/cable TV this is nothing exciting – but for those of us, like me, that don’t think paying the premium price you have to pay to get satellite TV is worth it, without having full choice of which channels you want to watch – I think it’s great! Yes, we’ve got loads of movies on DVD but it’s now nice to have a little bit more choice in our TV viewing, and we’re not (for now) paying anything above our usual annual TV licensing fees.

I’m hoping this is not a once-off (testing) thing or at the very least it’s accessible to us through-out the broadcasting of the World Cup, and of course first-prize, available to us in future.

Are there any other South Africans out there that have seen this with their own digital TVs?

Update:  28 September 2010

It would appear that testing has resumed again since there are 8 digital channels available free over the air again. I’ve picked up the following channels again:

  • e-TV (a free terrestrial channel)
  • eAfri (not sure about this seems to be airing similar programs to e-TV)
  • VUZU (wide variety of programmes)
  • Blitz (SuperSport blitz sports news and highlights)
  • Mstar (showing infomercials in between airing movies, not latest block-busters)
  • Action TV (movies and TV-series programmes)
  • Mzanzi Magic (local music, documentaries and TV-series programmes)
  • Koowe (kids channel, by the looks of it a South African channel)

Tune in and enjoy while they’re available.

Update:  23 October 2010

For about a week now we’ve also been able to tune into MNet and CSN (Sport channel showing Supersport and Indian movies when not broadcasting sport). Not complaining, just saying 🙂

Update: 14 March 2011

For the last couple of days transmission has been scrambled and none of the channels were showing anything – not even the digital version of free channel, e-TV. Tonight, however, it appears test broadcasting has resumed – free digital TV for a little while longer – yay!

2010 World Cup Theme Song

With a little over 93 days to go before the 2010 Soccer World Cup begins in South Africa more and more people are getting excited about the event and talking about world-cup related activities.

Our local radio station, 94.5 KFM, played a song on the radio last week that no one had heard of before as a potential 2010 World Cup theme song. Take a listen below and let me know what you think?

The imagery in the video isn’t important but listen to the tune and the lyrics.

What do you think? Did you find yourself tapping your foot, or your fingers on the table rhythmically? I sure did. As much as I hate the sound of the Vuvuzela I still like the song’s lyrics.

The song is called Stand As One and is sung by Martin PK and co-written by Martin PK and David Campos. You can find out more about them and the song on their Facebook Page.

I’ve been doing a little digging and as far as I can tell the adapted version of K’naan‘s song Wavin’ Flag will serve as the official FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup theme song. Very catchy and international sounding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Eokd-Ih1c&feature=player_embedded

Sources Witness This, CTV News.