Witsies passionate about the World Cup despite the absence of Bafana Bafana


World Cup mascot Fuleko will become a familiar sight in the coming weeks of the tournament. Graphic: FIFA

NEW KID IN TOWN: World Cup mascot Fuleco will become a familiar sight in the coming weeks of the tournament which starts tonight. Graphic: FIFA

Tonight, the one of the world’s biggest sporting showcases kicks off in Brazil. The 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will launch football’s biggest international spectacle and despite the absence of South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Witsies are still looking forward to the month-long tournament.

“I am really excited about the World Cup.  We wait four years to witness the best players competing against each other.  A part of me is sad that South Africa won’t be participating in this World Cup,” said Phelelani Mpanza, Masters Business Sciences.

“I see Spain defending this one.  They play really good football, but as an African, I will be supporting Ghana.  BaGhana BaChana!”, added Mpanza.

“I think this is probably going to be one of the most competitive World Cups ever, which makes it highly unpredictable.  But I think Brazil might take it this time around,” said Lloyd Uta, Masters Business Sciences, Marketing.  

Some Witsies pledged their allegiance to African teams. “I’m supporting Ghana because it’s the closest one to home and they play good soccer,” said Pretty Makgabo, final year BAccSci.

Makgabo was excited about watching her favourite players, “I am  looking forward to seeing Boateng, Gyan and Essien on the field.”

Makgabo is also looking forward to the opening ceremony, “I love those,” she said.

The European teams have a number of Witsies behind them.  “I’m with Germany.  I think Brazil is a cliche.  I think Germany deserves to take it this time, Brazil has taken it too many times so personally I now have Brazil fatigue,” said Tinashe Chuchu, Masters Business Sciences.

Obakeng Motshome, final year BAccSci, is also keen on Germany.  “I like their style of football.  They really play to the whistle, they’ll keep scoring until the referee blows the final whistle.”  Motshome expects an all-European final between Spain and Germany.  “It would also be great to have the first European team to win the World Cup in South America,” he said.

Some Witsies were spoilt for choice.  “I’m supporting Brazil, Germany, Portugal and Netherlands in that order,” said Hitekani Makhubele, final year BCom.

Makhubele holds a soft spot for Brazil as she says, “I got introduced to football in 2002, when I was 11 years old. And Brazil was wearing yellow which is my favourite colour.”  She has been loyal to them since, “through two more World Cups and everything in between. I am expecting home ground advantage to make them go super saiyan… loyalties will be tested but Brazil to the end,” she said.

The opening ceremony will be televised later this evening with the first match between hosts Brazil and Croatia starting at 10pm, local time.