World Cup – Vuvuzelas and Hot Dog Buns

The home team may be out but the Vuvuzela’s are still as loud and annoying as ever! Despite their victory over France, the South African soccer team, Bafana Bafana, will not advance to the second round of the World Cup. This marks the first time in the history of the World Cup that the home team did not advance.

The local people of Johannesburg are not surprisingly disappointed in this but there is still a great party to be had here. As I write this from my office above Nelson Mandela Square I can hear multiple Vuvezela’s blowing as well as the now familiar anthem to this tournament, Shakira’s “Waka Waka.” But why shouldn’t there still be celebration? There is still so much amazing soccer/football; however you call it, left. On Friday one of the tournament’s most anticipated matches take place when international powerhouses Brazil and Portugal collide.

The tournament has had some definite ups and downs but as of this point, has to be considered a success. I had a very interesting trip to Rustenburg to watch the USA vs. England game. Jeremiah and I arrived at the park and ride a few hours before the game. We arrived to find a few thousand people tailgating like it was a Georgia vs. Florida football game! There were many colorful and costumed fans along with beer and barbecue.

Our seats for the game were front row of the middle level. Just about as perfect of a spot as you can get for watching the game. When we got there some fans of Mexico where sitting in them. Thinking they were their seats, they had already tied up a Mexican flag to hang over the side. Yes, it was England vs. USA but this is the World Cup, you have to support your team at all times! So they moved over and now we were sitting right by the only Mexican flag in the stadium.

The woman next to me got a great text from her friend back in the States where the game was showing live on ESPN. It said, “They just scanned the crowd. Are you sitting next to a Mexican Flag!!!???” The game was a great experience and I will take a draw vs. England any day.

The ride home was where things got very interesting. The busses back to the park and ride were not labeled at all. I got on one and asked the driver “Is this the bus back to lot R104?” Of course he looked at me and gave me an emphatic “YES!” After running over a fence (I kid you not!) he proceeded to drive to the North lot. So now we were completely in the wrong lot on the wrong side of the stadium. It would have taken at least 3 hours to get back to the stadium and then get back to the proper lot. I called the guy who was supposed to drive us back to Johannesburg and told him to go on without me.

We then essentially begged our way onto a tour bus back to Johannesburg. Only problem was that the bus was full. No problem, we’ll sit on the floor! After a few hours on the bus we stopped for some food. I was hungry and my poor backside was not taking to the floor very kindly. Solution: Buns for my stomach and buns for my buns! After scarfing down a pretty decent cheeseburger from Steers I bought a package of hot dog buns to sit on the rest of the way. A funny sight for sure but a mild relief too! After a lot of traffic we finally arrived home at 5am! I have never been so happy to climb into bed.

There is still time to create your own World Cup experiences. Over 2 weeks still remain before you have to wait until Brazil 2014. TicketCity has tickets for all matches including the Final on July 11th.

http://www.ticketcity.com/soccer-tickets/world-cup-soccer-tickets.html

England a long shot to host 2018 World Cup?

The 2010 World Cup kicks on June 11, 2010 in South Africa. And even though that tournament has not yet started plans are already being made around which cities will host future World Cup tournaments.  The 2014 World Cup has already been awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Now soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is planning for the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cup.

FIFA has indicated that the 2018 World Cup will likely be hosted by a European country.  The early favorite to host the 2018 World Cup might be Russia, which impressed FIFA head Sepp Blatter when he visited the country recently. Other European countries in the running include; England, a combined bid by Spain & Portugal, and a combined bid by the Netherlands & Belgium.

One would assume that England would be one of the strongest candidates for the 2018 World Cup since they already have much of the infrastructure necessary to host such a large event.  But FIFA’s Blatter said “not sure” that England would be able to secure a win to host the tournament.  Which makes it sound like no matter how good England might look on paper, there could be other factors that prevent them from securing the right to host the 2018 World Cup. 

That said, anything can happen in these situations.  Many thought Chicago was the favorite to host the 2014 Olympics and IOC selected Rio de Janeiro instead.  So at this point England is still in the running, but it sounds like they’ll need to win over FIFA if they are going to host the 2018 World Cup.

Could the 2018 World Cup be the biggest ever?

We haven’t even reached the 2010 World Cup and yet are already talking about the 2018 World Cup.  What could be so big that it makes us skip ahead past the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and 2014 World Cup in Brazil?  Perhaps the biggest sporting event in history; an event that is bigger than the 2008 Beijing Olympics or any other sports event.

I’m talking about England hosting the 2018 World Cup.  The most soccer mad country in the World (apologies to Germany, Brazil, Mexico, etc) possibly hosting the biggest soccer event in history.  The last time England hosted the World Cup was 1966, long before the technology existed to easily beam the broadcast around the globe.  Long before it was easy to hop on a plane in Australia, China or the United States and land at Heathrow Airport that same day.  1966 was a totally different era, yet it was still a huge event in England.  Now try to imagine an event as large as the World Cup coming to England today…imagine how much exposure that would receive.  Well this event would be almost ten years from today, which gives even more time for this event to be huge globally.

So if England wins the rights from FIFA to host the 2018 World Cup, then expect that event to fast become one of the most grand sporting events the World has ever seen.  England just officially kicked off their bid to host the 2018 World Cup, so there is a long road ahead of them to even be selected.  But if they win, it’ll be huge for England, the sport of soccer and sports fans around the globe.

European Soccer Teams Tour America

This Summer European Clubs make a tour of American with one of the games stopping in Baltimore.  AC Milan vs Chelsea hosted at M&T  Bank Stadium on July 24th at 8 pm.  This should be a chance for Baltimore to a friendly game against some world class soccer players from all over Europe!

Don’t miss you chance to see this game live, by securing your tickets for this game by calling 1-800-SOLD OUT or by visiting us as TicketCity.com for Chelsea FC vs AC Milan or the game where Chelsea FC visits Cowboys Stadium on July 26th in the match between Chelsea FC vs Club America or any of the other games in the European soccer tour of America featuring Chelsea FC!  Don’t miss out on your chance to see it live!  Get your tickets TODAY!

Who will host the 2018 & 2022 World Cup?

FIFA is the governing body over soccer’s biggest international tournament, the World Cup.  As such FIFA selects the host countries for the event.  FIFA announced the bidding countries for the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup.  Their Executive Committee will select the winning bidders and announce them in December 2010.

Countries bidding to host 2018 World Cup & 2022 World Cup:
Australia
Belgium & Netherlands
England
Indonesia
Japan
Mexico
Qatar (only bidding on 2022)
Russia
South Korea (only bidding on 2022)
Spain & Portugal
United States

The location for the next two tournaments has already been set.  The 2010 World Cup is being played in South Africa and the 2014 World Cup is being hosted by Brazil.  The World Cup tournament rivals the Olympics as the biggest sporting event on the planet.  Soccer is the most popular sport on Earth, so it is a huge deal for countries to participate in the tournament.  Qualifying for each region begins years in advance of each tournament and decides which representatives (by region) will qualify for the World Cup.

Link to official FIFA website.