Home­sick duo have faith in ‘the boys’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By STEPHEN BRIGGS

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.

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