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The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page -

SHA-la-la-lala-lalala!

Don’t worry, we’re not on our way to Amar­illo. We are re­joic­ing the won­der­ful first goal of the 2010 World Cup scored by a South Africa player named un­can­nily like Tony Christie’s clas­sic cho­rus.

Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala is a pony­tailed, left-footed mid­field dy­namo for Bafana Bafana (which Google Trans­late tells me equals The Boys). Think Edgar Davids mi­nus the gog­gles.

And he sent his coun­try Ba­nanas Ba­nanas when strik­ing a stun­ning open­ing blow as the cur­tain came up at Soc­cer City, a place which sounds strangely like some kind of dis­count shop.

It is in fact the stun­ning Jo’burg arena that will also play host to the fi­nal of this com­pe­ti­tion in lit­tle over a month when Spain will tri­umph, I will be­come rich and then start a new life some­where be­side the Med.

“What a moment in the his­tory of sport,” claimed ITV com­men­ta­tor Peter Drury, pre­sum­ably re­fer­ring to Mr. BlahBlah­tatata’s goal rather my fu­ture plans.

At least that’s what I think he said be­cause he was in dan­ger of be­ing drowned out by the deaf­en­ing din made by vu­vuze­las – over-sized air horns that are the pre­ferred method of noise­mak­ing for African sup­port­ers.

Credit where its due though, it sounded al­most as good as it does at the Show­ground when Ken­neth Bjerre wins a race for Pan­thers.

Good­ness only knows what su­perla­tives Drury would have come out with had Katlego Mphela man­aged to hit one of the gap­ing ar­eas of net rather than the base of a post late on to turn a 1-1 draw into a 2-1 win for South Africa.

That would have been the fairy­tale re­sult, but most of us will just be happy the World Cup is fi­nally here. We had been made to wait 1,433 days since Italy lifted the tro­phy on the fate­ful night of the ‘Ber­lin butt’ when Flet­ton was alive with the sound of toot­ing car horns.

I could have done with­out sit­ting through a 40-minute open­ing cer­e­mony be­fore the footie got go­ing though es­pe­cially as it didn’t in­clude Shakira (as I had been promised by a rogue TV guide) but did fea­ture lots of danc­ing, mu­si­cians from all over the African con­ti­nent and a gi­ant beetle drib­bling a foot­ball.

It was up­lift­ing and vi­brant, and on Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent it might just have squeezed through to the next round. You never know, the same might ap­ply to South Africa’s play­ers.

But amid the glo­ri­ous colour and crescendo of noise was Adrian Chiles – the new front­man of ITV foot­ball.

Chiles pos­sesses such a de­press­ing Mid­lands twang that de­liv­er­ing the up­com­ing Bud­get would have been a far more suit­able task than tak­ing us through the Great­est Show on Earth.

He would no doubt still sound grumpy if he’d won the lot­tery. Oh, hold on a minute, he just did when mov­ing from BBC to ITV on a £6 mil­lion deal.

That must surely make him the most over­paid per­former in South Africa - and that’s quite some hon­our!

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