I was so disappointed last night

and not by Bafana Bafana. They did fine. My God they have come a long way since the last time I saw them play in a World Cup in 2002. Amazing improvements. I never thought they would beat Uruguay, although of course I was hoping! And I wasn’t expecting them to make it to the next round, but that was before I knew how much they had improved. They probably won’t make it but they have come so far as a team. Uruguay were stronger and played better but they were ok.

I am disappointed in the South African fans. Firstly the ones that walked out. I can’t believe you would leave your boys when they were down and needed you most. That left me feeling so bleak.

Secondly, ever since the World Cup started I have been checking Twitter now and then for updates when I miss a game or part of a game. Last night after the game I was wondering how South Africa was handling defeat. The answer was: not well at all.

I know very little about football, so when Khune got his red card I was in shock, it seemed a harsh decision, as were some others. But when the BBC showed the replay, according to the commentators the ref was correct and the penalty and the red card were correct. These were neutral commentators with no investment in either team. They couldn’t understand why the South African players kept arguing with the ref afterwards.

Whether those commentators were right or not I cannot say, but it makes no difference. Yes the ref was not the best. However, the kind of comments I saw on Twitter were not called for. I don’t know how many people said something along the lines of “the ref better watch his back in this country” and variations on that theme. Now I know they weren’t serious but that level of ugliness makes me so freaking sad. If that is what Tweeple were saying (people who I think of as educated and therefore somehow reasonable?), then what were less reasonable, more irrational people out there saying?

Maybe I am too sensitive, not cut out for football spectatorship, but the comments on Twitter left a bad taste in my mouth. Of course there were positive, good-sporting comments too. But you know, it’s the negative ones that linger, that make the impression. That can bring you down.

I won’t log on again. I stopped being active on Twitter a while ago, and I really don’t need that kind of community in my life. My fragile little mind was better off before it knew what everyone else was thinking all the time.



15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Champagne Heathen
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 08:22:14

    Hey Po, I read this & thought of you:

    I hope that helps!

    I meanwhile am again feeling so disturbed & nauseous from what some people are posting, in a completely unrelated racist sick way, on some of the facebook “support” sites. I am sitting here is a state of saddened shock. So I fully agree… leave the online sites that only bring you down, because they can (and will?) be dominated by people who want their angry/hating/one-sided voices to be heard. They get power from the facelessness. They would not say that about the ref if he was in front of them.


  2. Champagne Heathen
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 08:22:29

    And GOOD LUCK for today’s test!!!!!!!!!


  3. Kirsty
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 09:41:50

    :( Missed the game but heard that the fans just gave up. Not the way to inspire our boitjies!


  4. tiah
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 11:40:35

    I, too, was sad that the fans walked out.


  5. Damaria Senne
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 11:49:16

    Ja, South Africans did not take defeat well at all. In fact, they were sore losers. And this morning, there’s been a few less vuvuzelas to be heard. Which is a pity, because the tournament is not over yet, and while we may not win, we still have the chance to enjoy the rest of the games.


  6. Po
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 12:23:02

    Champs: I love David Smith he has a rare talent of cutting to the chase, and he is a great writer. I read the article and agree with him, a lot of South Africans are very defensive, just like teenagers.

    As to the test, it went well! Well, I failed, but it was a good fail. I mean, I thought the test would be a disaster and I would be a shaking catatonic wreck, but I was totally in control and all fine, just made two dumbass mistakes, that may be down o me being an idiot or down to PMS, who knows? I think it’s just me, I’m a bit blonde sometimes, even though I’m not. So I feel good, no worries mate!


  7. Po
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 12:24:39

    Hey other commentors, I am hoping that the soreness was in the moment and people are more upbeat now, the Bafana fan page on Facebook was definitely way more positive than on Twitter, and someone posted the national anthem, which was fantastic! I’m so happy, people actually sang it properly and loudly, so cool :)


  8. Shannon
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 13:42:44

    Yeah, people were berserk over what was the proper call. (And I have been, at various stages, a player, coach and referee.) I thought the ref might need a police escort out of the stadium. But I’ve watched plenty of other sports where people went flipping wild over a referee’s call so it’s not unique to SA.

    There were a few weird comments on M&G this morning about how FIFA is a conspiracy and has already decided who is going through…if that were true wouldn’t they have made sure Spain beat Switzerland and Portugal beat Cote d’Ivoire? There’s definitely a defensiveness.

    But the tourney is far from over and I hope SA still enjoys hosting it. And yes, Twitter is bad for your mind. I only follow a few soccer people whom I know are not crazy.


  9. Po
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 15:31:23

    Shannon: yeah, I know it’s not restricted to South African fans, I think before I never had social media so I never knew what anyone in the world thought about anything, I only had my happy little mind to rely on. Now all of a sudden I have everybody’s opinion to hand, and I’m shocked at the way people don’t edit themselves on these things. I clearly am way old fashioned but I liked things the way they were when I relied on my own take on things!


  10. Helen
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 11:36:41

    It was sad… I don’t know the rules too well, but I felt that the red card was a bit harsh, particularly because Khune is awesome and I think it urt to lose him for two games. I just felt so sorr for his replacement who had to start cold against a penalty kick (and it was coooooold).

    That said, I was still proud of them for the way they kept going, and from the people I’ve spoken to we’re still behind them all the way! Mexico beat France and we drew with Mexico…

    And the national anthem was awesome, we were sitting in a random bowling-pub and everyone stood up and belted it out to the TV, it was quite goosebump-inducing!


  11. Paula
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 16:04:53

    @ Champagne Heathen- thank you for the link. Twas an awesome read.
    @Po – aren’t you doing your license today? How did it go? I hope it went well. Tell me…
    vuvuzela’s are honestly working on my nerves but it’s only because I’m sour that I can’t properly execute the mouth thing to make the thing work. I really like that its becoming an apendemic to the point that people are being childish about then COUGH wimbledon banning them COUGH, but who cares we’re making our mark in the world. We are LOUD and PROUD.
    But like as for the people leaving the stadium. Do you know how cold it is here? It’s freezing. It’s easy for those of us who were sitting at home with our heaters, blankets and coffees to be mad… but it was freezing and we were losing.
    But I still also think that in some way they could have boosted morale and warmth by cheering and dancing(basically exercising the toyi toyi mentality).
    Tshabalala is AWESOME bet you r10 some overseas team is going to take him for a while??? I just hope he doesn’t turn out like that sell out Benny f*cktard McCarthy


  12. sonnyvsdan
    Jun 19, 2010 @ 12:58:43

    I haven’t watched too many of the games. Which is a little sad – because I loved soccer as a kid. It is on in the middle of the night here though – and to see it I’d need to go to a pub or brave the freezing cold weather to watch in on a big screen down by the river.

    I hate when watching sport, thopse people that walk out with 20 minutes to go because they have no heart. They would be the first gloating over the water cooler on Monday morning if their team won, but don’t want to stick around to be humble in defeat.


  13. Po
    Jun 20, 2010 @ 19:42:42

    sonnyvs dan: oh yeah the time difference must be a bitch! Haha your avatar on my blog has a vuvuzela!


    Jun 21, 2010 @ 14:40:01

    Bafana were embarrassing in that game, I would have walked out of the as well, it sure as hell beats sitting through -3 degrees Celsius weather watching a team that had what it takes to beat Uruguay had they played the same kind of football they played on the opening match but got scored three times because of silly mistakes.

    And the ref was wrong, not only was the player offside, went after the ball and not the player and thus giving him the red card was harsh. but I agree, the comments on twitter were stupid.


  15. Po
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 17:03:47

    aquilogy: I didn’t find them embarrassing at all! A team ranked 83 vs a team ranked, what, 18 or something? We fought hard. How could fans expect more than their best?

    Also I know it was cold, but the supporters had stayed that long, why leave in the last few mins. I bet the plyers felt abandoned. I know I would. Just wear warmer clothes haha!Saffas are wussy in cold weather.

    Also, according to the replay I saw the player was onside. The commentators agreed. I can’t comment cos I don’t think I was even looking at the screen but it appears he was onside. But I think it was harsh too :(


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