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Chaos in the FIFA queue

2010-04-16 11:25
I am writing this in total disgust at the way people were treated at the ticketing centre at the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria yesterday.

Albert Ferreira was being nice by the way he described the events. I was with him near the front of the queue, he had been there since the morning, and pushed back and pepper sprayed twice! To Albert, I share your sentiments, I won't watch the soccer!

I had been there since 06:30 till I got hit and pepper sprayed away at around 18:00. In the morning the atmosphere was brilliant, the crowd was calm, and the 2010 World Cup had become reality for many of us at that moment. What a feeling standing in the queue to the world's greatest event with people from all walks of life, united and in high spirits.

At 09:00 the doors opened, that was where FIFA, the LOC, the police and the World Cup staff failed dismally. There were no barriers, no security, no organisation and inevitably resulted in chaos. As a result total confusion erupted and people took advantage of this and brought the place into disrepute. When the armed policemen arrived, they got a loud applause from the crowd as we all were for the idea of some sort of order. Unfortunately they mistook the gratitude as worship and showed their brainless brawn.

For no reason people were pepper sprayed and beaten, forced to move back and treated like children. Thanks to them the queues were lost as people just scurried for breathing space. Six o’clock that evening was the worst!

With just fifteen people in front of me to get to the door, the day of waiting with no water or food was almost worth the effort. Even though when people starting singing songs to liven the atmosphere, they were threatened by the police. Then the police decided to get “clever”. They wanted everyone in front of the queue to push back, at the same time the people at the back of the queue were pushing us forward. So if you were an idiot with a bullet proof vest, a pump action shot-gun, two pistols, tear-gas and pepper spray, the only thing to do is beat the people away.

I remember being hit on the head, pepper sprayed in the eyes then stepping on some young girl. It was horrible! We were a crowd of citizens, doctors, CEOs, students, working professionals, but were treated like a mob of barbarians. To the friends I made in the queue, thank you for showing me that this country has the best people in the world, I am proud to have met you all.

To FIFA and the LOC, your lack of organisation, planning, and infrastructure support is despicable! We all know that there were no network problems; you just didn’t want to sell the tickets to us because we don’t have euros. I will watch this World Cup on TV and not support your efforts in anyway what so ever! I will rather support local football, as that is more systematic than your event.

To Saps (the police service), you barbaric inhumane idiots ruined everything and it is your fault that there was chaos. No wonder you people can’t solve crime, you don’t even have the brain power to arrange a queue. And as for the World Cup, I can guarantee you will stuff that up too!

Thank you for ending a dream of mine, I’ll be toasting from my home to your imminent failure.

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