Homesick duo have faith in ‘the boys’
A PAIR of South African workers are celebrating the World Cup in Peterborough after missing out on the chance to join the football festivities in their home country.
Murray Ziervogel and Marc Crawford, who work for city insurance group BGL, watched on TV as their home team opened the tournament on Friday, against Mexico. Now they are hoping their side will step up a gear when they take on Uruguay in Pretoria tonight.
The pair, based at Pegasus Park, Orton Southgate, have already brought colour to their offices by hanging South Africa flags and wearing the team’s colours.
Mr Crawford (36), originally from Durban but now living in Hampton, said: “I was only in South Africa five weeks ago and it really makes me homesick to see it on the TV like this. The atmosphere looks incredible at all of the games.
“I am sure that South Africa will be able to beat Uruguay today and think we could get to the quarter finals. It will be tough for us though.”
Mr Ziervogel (29), of Fellowes Gardens, Fletton, Peterborough, said: “I am confident that we can get a win today and a draw against France to put us through. There are a few South Africans in Peterborough and we are holding a Braai – a type of South African barbecue – for the big game against France on Tuesday.”
South African football has often been overshadowed by the Springboks rugby team and The Proteas cricket team. But the football team – known affectionately as Bafana Bafana, meaning ‘the boys, the boys’ – now have the chance to make their mark on the world sporting map.
Mr Ziervogel said: “There are more football fans in South Africa than the other sports, but it has never got the coverage.”
While some of the football in the tournament has been labelled disappointing, one topic has kept the world talking – Vuvuzelas.
The plastic horns have divided opinion with their low pitched humming drowning out the sound of fans cheering and singing and creating a buzzing for TV viewers. They have even been blamed by players for breaking their concentration on the pitch.
Mr Crawford said: “They are quite new, but have quickly become embedded into football culture in South Africa. It creates an atmosphere like no other and is a unique part of the tournament. They can be a bit irritating, but they are a bit like bagpipes in Scotland.”
While both Mr Ziervogel and Mr Crawford were confident South Africa could continue the tradition of the hosts always getting past the first round, they were in agreement on who would lift the famous trophy, with both men tipping Argentina to triumph and win the World Cup.
PREDICTION: Marc Crawford and Murray Ziervogel.