Home of the World Cup 2010
Experience the Park Soccer City Fan Guide
Soak up the Scene
You know kick-off is drawing near at Soccer City when you hear the sounds of Vuvuzelas in the air and see soccer fans singing and dancing outside the stadium, many wearing miners’ helmets, or ‘makarapas’ as they call them. These helmets have become increasingly popular at South African football matches, and fans often decorate them in their teams’ colours.
As for the Vuvuzela, or ‘lepatata’ as it’s sometimes called, it is a plastic air horn about one metre in length. While it adds a lively and distinct ambience to the game, some observers believe it a distraction, and there was even a proposal to ban them from games during the 2010 World Cup. The ban was rescinded, however, after the South African Football Association argued that they are an integral part of the spectator experience in the country.
Horns have been a part of African culture for centuries, often used to call villagers to a meeting, and there is a traditional saying that “a baboon is killed by a lot of noise.” Hence, fans blow harder when there’s action near the goal posts and toward the end of the match as they try to ‘kill off’ their opponents.
Singing and dancing (and blowing a horn) for 90 minutes burns a lot of energy, but luckily there are plenty of vendors inside and outside the stadium where you can fuel up. A local favourite are the boerewors rolls (grilled sausages), available from many vendors. If you have a big appetite, make your way to one of the food stalls outside the stadium where you can get a plate of pap, rice or dumplings with braai chicken or beef and a variety of salads, all for cheap prices. Even if you’re not hungry you won’t be able to resist the tantalising smell of the braai (barbeque).
If you haven’t secured a ticket prior to your arrival at the stadium, they can be had through scalpers who work the surrounding area. But be careful as scalping World Cup tickets is illegal.
And make sure the scalpers aren’t the only ones you’re interacting with. The festive atmosphere at Soccer City creates a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures and make new friends. It may be a cliché that soccer brings people together, but Soccer City makes it true.