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Cape Town live: England versus Algeria

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Having fun watching England versus Algeria

Watching the England game in style

18/06/2010: World Cup Fever – England versus Algeria

Sometimes you must make your job work for you:

One of our Content Providers was meant to come to Cape Town. With flights and accommodation rapidly selling out, despite best intentions and being as organised as possible, it turned out to be too problematic. However, tickets for match 32 had been booked and our team had the privilege to get those tickets.

I knew they were not ordinary tickets, but when I was chasing FIFA Hospitality to ensure a timely and practical delivery of the tickets, I got the hang of the magnitude of VIP tickets: dedicated parking, free drinks and foods, access to a suite 3 hours before and 2 hours after the game.

Plus, the packaging created an excitement like opening a present at Christmas. As you pulled out the bottom of the box with the wristband and the badge, the top automatically moved outwards and presented your ticket. Genius!

Simply being able to watch England play was enough of a pleasant surprise. Making this a team day out event was topping all expectations. But it only got better:

We met at 6pm to have ample of time to get to the stadium. We were bracing ourselves for braving the traffic. Guessing the hidden back roads that would be spared from the chock-a-block traffic jams I had already heard were building up on the N2 and N1, we managed to get to the heart of the city quickly. Traffic there was lingering, but blowing the vuvuzela and cheering at football fans made it a pleasant experience.

A sign ‘Ticket Holders Here’ lead us to have our parking ticket scrutinised and out of the chaos and onto an empty road. Yes, empty. We were the sole souls on this street and erupted in ‘I’m the king of the world’ like screaming realising to what extend FIFA’s Hospitality would reach. We flew to the stadium and found our parking easy and swiftly.

I had to tell my colleagues how the scenario would normally unfold with queuing and waiting. Now it was a brisk walk where we almost felt lonely. We got through security checks in no time and walked to the entrance of the VIP area. This time we got up to the second level by an elevator.

The suite featured a lovely buffet that made me regret having eaten at all that day. A charming bartender was at our service immediately. Cocktails would have been the real deal, but we settled with the long drinks he could provide: Vodka orange, gin & tonic, brandy & coke, brandy & ginger beer were the variations we savoured during the course of the evening along with wine or beer and of course we had to try the bartender’s own special drink by the end of the night: Amarula with milk.

I even got my tea – giving that we were watching an English game – and the barman went out of his way to make an Irish coffee.

Thus indulging ourselves we had a fantastic time watching the game. Even though it was just a disappointing drag of a draw.

At least the English fans made up for it and created an incredible atmosphere. Flags everywhere, the whole stadium was flooded in white and red! The English fans are awesome, that’s what I call support. And they made it heard with chants and songs! They even went as far as singing the national anthem.

Unfortunately it didn’t help much, as England gave a crap performance with the righteous result to be booed off by their own fans.

We had another top up at our suite and then made our way home in style, or maybe not so much any more, as we were just so merry and happy after such a great night out!

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