The honours were roughly even between football and the evening’s featured artists as to which the main attractions were on Friday evening’s programme at the FIFA Fan Fest™ in Port Elizabeth.
It was perhaps an evening for symmetry as just under 6 000 fans watched the World Cup’s most anticipated match thus far – Brazil versus Portugal – peter out to a tame 0-0 draw on the giant big screen at St George’s Park.
Self-proclaimed football fanatic Zingiswa Mnikina (29), from Algoa Park in Nelson Mandela Bay, said she came specifically to watch the two matches that were to be broadcast live.
“I wasn’t even aware of the other entertainment. It’s such a bonus and now I can’t wait to see Just Jinjer for real.”
Mnikina, who has “adopted” Brazil after Bafana Bafana’s early exit, said she was hoping to see the suspended Kaka weave his magic.
“I was so disappointed when he got yellow-carded again. Brazil is really missing his flair,” she said, adding that she has never seen the multiple world champions having to defend so much.
However, their solid defence was one of the reasons why she rated them as the favourites to lift the cup on July 11. “It’s very important to have a good defence in tournaments of this stature and today they have shown that there are no holes at the back.”
In Mnikina’s opinion, Bafana had acquitted themselves “very well” of their task, but she had a message for their outgoing coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira.
“It was a mistake to under use a player like Siyabona Nomvete. He would’ve taken a lot of pressure off during the early part of the tournament.”
Nineteen-year-old Christian Simpson, from Walmer in PE, said he had definitely come for the football and the “awesome vibe” and he was pleased to see Portugal hold Brazil to a draw.
Grahamstown student Danielle Rijs said she was at the Fan Fest for both the football and the entertainment. The 18-year-old supported Portugal and, more specifically, player “number 23”.
She said she would leave the arena for supper and rush back for the Just Jinjer concert and the live broadcast of the match between Spain and Chile. “I saw them (Just Jinjer) perform in December and they were pretty good.”
Saturday’s featured matches are the Host City encounter between Uruguay and Korea at 4pm and the United States against Ghana at 8.30pm.
Gates open at 1pm and entrance is free.
Visit www.facebook.com/NMB2010 for regular updates.
CAPTION: Just Jinjer lead singer Ard Matthews on-stage at the FIFA Fan Fest™ in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening. Photo: Richard Huggard
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
FIFA Fan Fest™