Sunday, 15 June 2014

Brazil 2014 - Opening Ceremony

It was a spectacular display at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. The ceremony preceded the opening match against the host country Brazil and Croatia. The display revolved around a huge LED display ball, which was hand made with around 90000 LED light bulbs.

Brazils rich heritage and culture was brought to light with various enactments and dances. The Amazon was also incorporated in the form of trees, plants and even the Amazon river itself.

One of the highlights of the ceremony was the kicking of the first Brazuca ball in the World Cup by a paraplegic in a mechanical exoskeleton. The name of the paraplegic has been kept a secret. The skeleton was controlled by brain signals and the kicking of the ball was a success.

A lot of people gave the Brazilians some flack about the opening ceremony, but I think that they did a great job by keeping the ceremony in line with Brazils tradition and culture.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Adidas Brazuca - Official 2014 Soccer Ball

Adidas has done a better job with the new 2014 Official World Cup Soccer Ball, the Brazuca, as compared to its predecessor, the Jabulani. The Brazuca has pass all Fifa tests and has been given the stamp of approval.
The Brazuca was named the same way as the 2014 mascot, the Fuleco the armadillo, by doing a public vote. Over 1 million Brazilian football fans voted and "Brazuca" won with more than 77% of the votes.

The Brazuca has a unique panel style that keeps the ball waterproof and aerodynamic. It is said to perform far better than the Jabulani, which was a disaster for most players in the 2010 World Cup. Players claimed that the Jabulani was unpredictable and had poor direction in flight. But everybody had a problem with the ball and in a way that made the ball okay to play with. 

The Brazuca has overcome all its predecessors problems which hampered game play quite a bit in the last world cup, not only from the players point of view but from the fans as well. Fans missed out on the skill that the players brought to the field due to the behavior of the Jabulani ball. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Crane collapses on Arena Corinthians - Sao Paulo Stadium

The flagship stadium for the Brazil 2014 Fifa Soccer World Cup has been partially damaged due to a massive crane collapsing onto it. As a result it has been reported that at least two of the construction workers are dead.

The Sao Paulo Stadium is supposed to host the opening ceremony to the 2014 World Cup and is required to be 94% complete by Fifa at this stage. It is hard to say what kind of delay this will put on the construction at the stadium as investigations will need to be carried out.

The crane operator was taken to hospital but later released. The crane was in the process of hoisting a portion of the roof when its structure gave up and collapsed in on itself crushing a part of the stadium on its way down.

Although engineers say that the damage isn't too extensive, there will be procedures to follow in terms of reports, investigations and clean ups. There should be structure load tests also carried out to see if other parts of the stadium where not affected. All this will definitely play a part in the delay of the construct. It will be interesting to see what happens from here, so close to the World Cup. Is this going to change the venue for the 2014 Fifa Soccer World Cup?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Fifa 2014 Tickets Sales

Earlier this month tickets for The 2014 Fifa Soccer World Cup went on sale and this re-ignited the World Cup frenzy in Brazil and the rest of the world. The process of actually purchasing a world cup  ticket is such an event on its own, for it is arguably the worlds best event, no matter what match you are going for or where your seat is in the stands the fact of the matter is that you have an official World Cup ticket.

Once you have that ticket in hand nothing else matters till you attend that match. The sheer awe that you will experience when you first set foot in that stadium is overwhelming and trust me you will remember it for the rest of your life. You now have the bragging rights to say that you were at a World Cup soccer match and it really doesn't matter who played or where you sat, all that matters is that you were there.

Fifa is using the same ticket sales system that was used in South Africa in 2010, where the tickets are released in batches to give everybody a fair chance at purchasing tickets. From experience I remember that ticket can sell out in a matter of minutes from the time they are released. For every purchase window there are a set number of tickets that go on sale for a set time period and then that window is closed and you will have to wait for the next window of opportunity.

If you are buying over the counter you should be able to by at any time of day, but you have to put up with the ques, and standing in a cue for a World Cup ticket can easily take up 3 hours of your life. I bought my tickets online, but its a gamble, you don't know whether ar
e going to get the tickets or not, that is why you have to keep trying until you get the tickets that you want or even get tickets at all.

During the first couple of days when ticket sales began, the online sales website kept crashing, but got better later on. I used to use at least two computers to try and buy tickets and I used to have alarms setup to alert me when tickets go on sale. Finally just past midnight on one Thursday morning I finally got my tickets to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and I was able to say that I attended a Fifa World Cup soccer match.

Good luck to all though's that are try to buy tickets, never give up, it will all be worth it in the end!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

South Africa in Brazil 2014

Over the weekend South Africa went up against Ethiopia in a Fifa 2014 World Cup Qualifier match. It was a tough match and unfortunately South Africa lost to Ethiopia 1-2. South Africa needed to win this match to be able to get into the 2014 Soccer World Cup Finals in Brazil.

Later it was discovered that Ethiopia used an ineligible player and were to be docked 3 points. This gave South Africa a small chance of getting into the World Cup next year. But it seems that it is not the first time that Ethiopia have done this.

In the June 8th match against Botswana, Ethiopia used ineligible player Minyahile Beyene. Beyene was yellow carded for two prior World Cup Qualifier matches. This means that SA now stand a far better chance of getting to the World Cup Finals. Ethiopia will now be docked 6 points. Technically SA could have gunned for a draw against Ethiopia and stood a strong chance in the last round for the qualifiers in September.

Gordan Igesund shows promise that he is capable of moving Bafana Bafana in the right direction, but getting the team to play well is only part of the journey to the World Cup. South Africa need to pick up their political and analytic skills as well to get them to the finals. So far luck is on our side.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Arena Amazonia

Deep in the Amazon rain forest is situated on of the host cities to the Brazil 2014 Soccer World Cup, Manaus. Here you will find the Arena Amazonia, which is the refurbished Vivaldao. It's brilliant and unique design will rival that of Durban's Moses Mabida Stadium.

The capacity of the stadium will be 42377, relatively small compared to the 2010 stadia, but is said to be remarkable tourist attraction as well due to its location near the rivers Negro and Solimoes. These rivers have each have a different colour, one is dark and the other is brown or muddy, they run side by side without mixing and will be definitely be worth seeing.

The Arena Amazonia will have restaurants and other social attractions, as well as it's very own monorail. The population of Manaus is just over 2 million, so this will be an exciting time for them and I'm sure the locals will be great hosts to the thousands of tourists that they will receive during the 2014 World Cup.

Here we have the Arena Amazonia under construction.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

FIFA World Cup 2014 Mascot

I remember when Zakumi, the mascot for the FIFA 2010 World Cup was announced, it started such a hype and got people so much more involved in the World Cup celebrations.

Zakumi was a yellow leopard with green hair. His name was created by combining "ZA" which is the code for South Africa and "Kumi" which means 10 in alot of the South African languages.

Just recently Brazil announced that they will be using an Armadillo as their mascot for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This particular type of armadillo is an endangered species to Brazil.

The armadillo has been named as Fuleco, which was decided by doing an online voting poll by the public.