Tag Archives: fifa world cup

Things to See in South Africa: Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban Travel Attractions 09 OCT 2016

Current home of the AmaZulu F.C. football club, the 2010 FIFA World Cup purpose built Moses Mabhida Stadium has become an iconic part of Durban’s skyline.

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This multi-use stadium is named after Moses Mabhida, a former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party and freedom fighter during South Africa’s Apartheid era.

Built on the grounds of the old Kings Park Soccer Stadium in Stamford Hill, the Moses Mabhida Stadium sports a strikingly clean and elegant design, punctuated by its iconic arch that is representative of a once divided nation finally coming together.

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Known affectionately as the hand basket stadium, the Moses Mabhida stadium has a variable seating design, that allows it to change spectator capacity to match event demand. This is achieved through the use of two permanent tiers of seating, with the ability to add temporary tiers if required.

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The stadium roof consists of Teflon-coated, glass-fibre membrane which produce a translucent glow when the stadium is lit. These are attached to the arch by thick steel cables, with the ‘roof’ covering around 88% of the seats.

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The stadium is primarily a sports stadium, having played host to games for both the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2013 African Cup of Nations football tournaments. Outside of the local AmaZulu football games, the stadium also hosts the odd T20 international cricket game, and has even been utilized as a venue for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Top Gear Festival live stadium shows.

It now eagerly awaits 2022, as Durban was awarded the rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which no doubt will add yet another feather in this beautiful stadium’s cap.

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The stadium also caters for tourism, offering guided stadium tours, the SkyCar – a funicular that travels up the arch, the People’s Park public space, Segway Gliding Tours, the Sky Walk, which is essentially a walk along the arch, and for those seeking a bit more adrenaline, the Big Rush Big Swing which allows you to swing off the arch itself! (The Big Swing is in fact the world’s only stadium swing, and also happens to be the largest swing of any kind anywhere!)

The Moses Mabhida Stadium has already won a number of awards for its design and innovation, and continues to be one of South Africa’s most beautiful stadiums.

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A handy map for if you want to seek out this stadium yourself:

Related Link: Moses Mabhida Stadium | Wikipedia

Japan 2014 – 19 The Nissan Stadium, aka The International Stadium Yokohama (2014-10-04) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 06 DEC 2015

Having ended off a long but super sightings filled day in Tokyo, Ryan and I took the train back to Yokohama, deciding along the way to make use of the remaining light to take a walking trip through to the Nissan Stadium before turning in for the night.

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Nissan Stadium (officially the International Stadium Yokohama) played host to the final match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Finals, which saw Brazil beat German 2-0.

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Inaugurated in March 1998, Yokohama International Stadium is the home stadium of Yokohama F. Marinos of the J1 League. Also, it has the highest seating capacity of any stadium in Japan, with a total of 72,327 seats.

IMG_20141004_164537 plaza at the nissan stadium in yokohama

Visiting stadiums isn’t necessarily a very tourist like destination, but seeing as South Africa took part in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, it was kind of worth the walk for the two of us, and admittedly, seeing the South African memorabilia up on the walls among all the world giants in the stadium shop was kind of awesome.

IMG_20141004_164322 fifa world cup commemoration statue on the plaza at nissan stadium yokohama

Outside of the people making use of the stadium’s swimming pool facilities and a few people out for an evening walk, the stadium grounds were of course pretty deserted, giving Ryan and myself the perfect opportunity to spend some time checking out all the FIFA World Cup memorial sculptures and works.

IMG_20141004_171315 yokohama nissan stadium 2002 fifa world cup memorial sculpture

By this stage, my feet were absolutely killing me, so I sat at the top of the plaza steps while Ryan went for a walk right round this immense concrete stadium.

IMG_20141004_165757 stairs above the plaza at the nissan stadium in yokohama

Honestly, I have no idea how I did eventually make it back across Yokohama to our hotel, but I know the trip must have taken more out of Ryan than what he was letting on – after all, we were barely back in our room before I heard some snoring and grabbed this snap! :)

IMG_20141004_194214 an exhausted ryan lotter fast asleep

So yeah, we actually enjoyed our unplanned evening trip to a desolated stadium. How else would we learn that German keeper Lehmann’s hand isn’t all that much bigger than Ryan’s?

UPDATE: Ryan was quick to point out that I completely forgot the fact that once back at the hotel, whilst I rested he popped out for more exploration, hence the exhaustion. Makes sense. This all happened a year ago, so no doubt I’ve already forgotten one or two of the finer details! :)

Related Link: Nissan Stadium

FIFA and the Boys My Life 07 JAN 2015

I have to say, I’m thoroughly loved the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Whilst I certainly enjoyed the 2010 edition back in our own backyard, last year’s edition in Brazil seemed to be nothing but continued improvement upon improvement over the 2010 version. Exciting goal line technology, cool little innovations like the referee’s temporary line spray, and of course the SUPER exciting football itself!

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So many big upsets, so many goals, and so, so many spectacular pieces of football mastery on display – plus, a very deserved Germany walking away as the ultimate champs!

Of course, watching the football over this period came with its own unique challenges: If I wasn’t away on a weekend out in Piekenierskloof, then this would happen whilst trying to watch the footie in my lounge…

craig lotter trying to watch a fifa world cup 2014 game with jessica and emily

Needless to say, Chantelle was rather pleased when the month of soccer was FINALLY over!

Somewhat related, 2014 also saw a lot of FIFA on the XBOX 360 take place, with a more or less formalized competition now in place for the likes of Evan, Damen, Ryan and myself. I’ve masterfully converted some old karate trophies into stunning football trophies, and every so often the guys will get together at Ryan’s place (being a bachelor has its perks), throw in some snacks, and battle it out in a two-on-two rotational basis which sees us recording points for every win and every goal scored.

Although I showed some early promise in the year, the damn trophies remained completely out of my grasp for absolute ages, with Ryan, Evan and Damen all taking turns in holding the trophies aloft and basking in the glory and bragging rights that comes with coming out on top after a long evening of digital ball kicking.

However, my luck did eventually turn on the very last FIFA gathering for 2014 before everyone split off on their holidays, when I managed to capture not one, but BOTH trophies on the night! (Moment immortalized below – you can see that I take better photos with my camera than what Evan does…)

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Anyway, for the longest time we’ve been sticking it out with FIFA 13 on the XBOX 360, but towards the end of last year Ryan picked up the new FIFA 15, prompting me to also pick it up a little while later (on a nice half price Christmas deal that XBOX Live was having). I know the new version of EA’s venerable football franchise totally kicks ass on the new generation XBOX One consoles, but seeing as that isn’t going to happen for quite a while in my household (not unless some money falls out the sky anyway), the updated team rosters, tweaked game play, AI, and animations will suffice on the 360 for now.

Some aspects of the new version do annoy me though – like the all too often messy scrambles initiated by silly ball physics – but overall FIFA 15 is a solid play and I have to say, I’m enjoying my season managing Norwich City in the Championship (top of the table baby!).

Of course, Ryan, Evan and Damen could construe this as practicing and thus call me out for cheating, but hey, I have to do what I have to do in order to retain those trophies! ;)

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Now the challenge for this year I guess is to expand our group and get a few more faces involved.

Karl-Heinz, Dean, I’m looking at you…

Remembering FIFA World Cup 2010: Paraguay vs. Italy My Life 27 SEP 2011

Now that the Rugby World Cup 2011 is in full swing and our boys are doing well, I can’t help but cast my mind back to the exciting period that was the FIFA World Cup 2010, hosted right here in our very own backyard.

The excitement before and during the tournament was electrifying and everywhere you went, this feeling of unity, hope and joy just couldn’t be suppressed or surpassed. Truly this was one of the finest moments in our country’s history, or at least in my lifetime.

It’s a pity our boys couldn’t have achieved more in the tournament itself, but I remember watching each and every one of their games on the edge of my seat, and I can still savour that overwhelming feeling when Tshabalala scored that magical opening goal!

As it turned out, I only managed to snag tickets for one game, that game being the first round collision between Paraguay and Italy, played here at Cape Town stadium. Dean, Terrance and Damen made up the rest of our little group, and when the match day finally arrived (it felt like forever between getting the tickets and waiting for the actual game day!), it was off to the well-organised train station at Settlers High, and onto the train to Cape Town, before stepping off and heading straight into the bustling stroll through the Cape Town Fan Walk, all the way up to the magnificent, magical stadium itself.

The weather itself was unpleasant, a cold biting wind and rain that constantly threatened to come down, but after a fair (and noisy) wait in the security queues to get in, we were finally given the go ahead to stream into the grounds, marvelling at all the sights, sounds and colours that lay before us!

Our elevated seats were behind one of the goal posts, so perhaps not the best in the house, but just the experience was enough in any event. Sheltered from the miserable wind, we got to enjoy an engrossing game, vuvuzelas trumpeting and all, the result of which I can no longer actually recall! :)

(I think it was a draw to be honest, which would have been much to Terrance’s disgust and my delight!)

Anyway, our evening had been a fantastic success, as was the tournament as a whole, and as my memory of the events begins to fade, at least I have these few photos to mark the fact that I was indeed a part of the FIFA World Cup 2010 extravaganza! :)

In Zakumi’s Defence Sport & Health 17 OCT 2008

Well someone has to come to the rescue of the little guy. Sure our very own 2010 Zakumi leans towards the rather garish side, what with his bright green hair, big anime eyes and seemingly completely un-African look, you’ve got to admit – he is a far sight better than some of the other candidates we’ve had over the years.

And besides, he is targeted mostly at the children anyway – how else is FIFA going to flog its merchandise to them? :)

The FIFA World Cup started the mascot trend in 1966 for the England competition, with World Cup Willie being the first ever mascot to be born into existence. From that point onwards, each and every World Cup has had their own mascot, with the designs usually representing a characteristic feature (costume, flora, fauna, etc.) of the host country.

And so, in an effort to prove that Zakumi is in fact not the worst of the lot, here is the entire list of World Cup Mascots in all of their glory/infamy:

World Cup Mascot(s) Description
England1966 fifa world cup mascot world cup willie

World Cup Willie

A lion, a typical symbol of the United Kingdom, wearing a Union Flag jersey with the words “WORLD CUP”.
Mexico1970 fifa world cup mascot juanito

Juanito

A boy wearing Mexico‘s kit and a sombrero (with the words “MEXICO 70”). His name is the diminutive of “Juan“, a common name in Spanish.
West Germany1974 fifa world cup mascot tip and tap

Tip and Tap

Two boys wearing Germany kits, with the letters WM (Weltmeisterschaft, World Cup) and number 74.
Argentina1978 fifa world cup mascot gauchitoGauchito A boy wearing Argentina‘s kit. His hat (with the words ARGENTINA ’78), neckerchief and whip are typical of gauchos.
Spain1982 fifa world cup mascot naranjito

Naranjito

An orange, a typical fruit in Spain, wearing the kit of the host’s national team. Its name comes from naranja, Spanish for orange, and the diminutive suffix “-ito”.
Mexico1986 fifa world cup mascot pique
Pique
A jalapeño pepper, characteristic of Mexican cuisine, with a moustache and wearing a sombrero. Its name comes from picante, Spanish for spicy peppers and sauces.
Italy1990 fifa world cup mascot ciao

Ciao

A stick figure player with a football head and an Italian tricolore body. Its name is an Italian greeting.
United States1994 fifa world cup mascot striker

Striker

A dog, wearing a red, white and blue football uniform with the words “USA 94”.
France1998 fifa world cup mascot footix

Footix

A cockerel, one of the national symbols of France, with the words “FRANCE 98” on the chest. Its body is mostly blue, like the host’s national team shirt and its name is a portmanteau of “football” and the ending “-ix” from the popular Astérix comic strip. Other proposed names were “Raffy”, “Houpi” and “Gallik”.
Korea/Japan2002 fifa world cup mascot ato, kaz, nik

Ato, Kaz and Nik (The Spheriks)

Orange, purple and blue (respectively) futuristic, computer-generated creatures. Collectively members of a team of “Atmoball” (a fictional football-like sport), Ato is the coach while Kaz and Nik are players. The three individual names were selected from shortlists by users on the Internet and at McDonald’s outlets in the host countries.
Germany2006 fifa world cup mascot goleo vi

Goleo VI

Sidekick: Pille

A lion wearing a Germany shirt with the number 06 and a talking football named Pille. Goleo is a portmanteau of the words “goal” and “leo”, the Latin word for lion. In Germany, “Pille” is a colloquial term for a football.
South Africa 2010 fifa world cup mascot zakumi

Zakumi

Zakumi is a leopard with green hair wearing a shirt saying South Africa 2010. Zakumi’s green and gold colors represents South African national sports’ teams colors. His name comes from “ZA”, the ISO 3166 code for South Africa, and “kumi”, a word that means “ten” in various African languages.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the info by the way!

For more information about this little Zakumi chap himself, visit the official FIFA website here

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_mascot