George Dearnaley

Ban the Vuvuzela!

2008-09-05 05:23

George Dearnaley

The best thing about the first two games of the Vodacom Challenge is that the performance of our two local teams has given everyone in the country a much-needed boost after months of abject misery watching mindless performances by our national team.

Of course Manchester United are on a "pre-season" tour and are probably not pushing themselves to get results, but our local teams (Chiefs and Pirates) held their own against players who earn 20 times what our locals earn.

I was at Newlands for the first match, and although I'm a United fan, I was cheering the performance of Kaizer Chiefs as they held a decent United starting line-up to a creditable draw.

Pirates did well in the second match, only losing by a single goal - but their performance was largely decent, and if you consider that new coach Ruud Krol used mostly second-stringers, preferring to keep his first choice fresh for the Chiefs match later in the week, it puts the performance into perspective.

I have some concerns though. Firstly there are large numbers of local fans who now think that there is nothing wrong with our football. They have lost perspective of the occasion.

There is nothing for United to prove down here - they are here to run around, get match fitness, avoid injury and start sharpening up again.

There was everything for our local players to prove, and you could see it in the amount of running that was done. I only hope both teams keep up this type of performance when they are playing against our so-called smaller teams in the PSL.

The sad truth is we still have a long way to go. Our close control, short passing and dribbling skills are great. But we lack range of passing - very few players in the PSL can accurately knock a ball over 20 metres, and this is a fundamental necessity in modern football if we hope to compete at the highest level.

Our most glaring weakness is in front of goal - we lack players who can put the ball in the net more than 20 times a season. So before we start celebrating our impending 2010 triumph, lets be a little realistic and aware of our limitations.

But well done to Chiefs and Pirates for giving us something to cheer about for a change.

Local is not always lekker

There is a lot of criticism, mostly from local black supporters, about the number of white, coloured and Indian fans who have gone to the matches dressed in the red of United. The big question being asked is why these people don't support local football teams. I think the truth is that the average PSL team doesn't market itself to these population groups.

There are no Indian players in the PSL, very few whites, and most of the coloured players play for the two Cape Town teams. I know a lot of people who support an English Premiership team and a local PSL team, but it's not every day that your English team comes to town. I think it is also short-sighted to ignore the attraction of watching World-class players like Rooney and Giggs right in front of you.

I do hope though, that more South Africans will consider giving local football a chance and try to make it to one game this season just to get a taste of local action.

But I also think that the PSL clubs must make more of an effort to attract and entertain local supporters - and keep them happy!

Unban the unban of the vuvuzela

FIFA recently unbanned the vuvuzela from making an appearance at the 2010 tournament. The unbanning came about after a small group of local fans complained that FIFA were infringing on their "culture". I made a note of counting those with vuvu's in my close proximity at Newlands. There was one person with a vuvu for every 40 fans. Using a simple calculation I worked out that 2.5% of all fans had a vuvuzela at the match.

My question is whether the other 97.5% enjoyed having their ears destroyed by the mindless noise that comes from mostly mindless people who don't actually even watch the game?

Surely the majority of fans would rather watch the game, hear the comments and the shouts from other fans, perhaps get a song going or at least clap when you think something has been done quite well!

I hate them!

  • George is Media24's Mr Soccer.

  • Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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