Why the vuvuzela doesn’t do it for me

It’s not that they make too much noise, it’s that there’s no volume control.

The trouble with vuvuzelas is that they keep the noise level consistently high. There’s no perceptible increase or decrease of noise to go with the ebb and flow of the game. After Shabalala scored, you’d have expected the stadium to explode with noise. But …

World Cup Opening: From The Stands

The big idea behind holding the first soccer World Cup in Africa is to change perceptions and prove that Africa, or at least South Africa, is a place and a people as capable as any. With some awesome looking new stadiums, new roads, trains and airports across the country – and a great rock concert in Soweto last night headlined by stars …

Beckham and Donovan on England vs. USA

“The first game in a group is always a big game,” injured English star David Beckham told me just before the World Cup. “It kind of sets the tone for the tournament. The manager always says so— and I’ve played in a few tournaments now—they are always so ready for that first game.” And England’s first game in Group C of …

Mandela Misses Opening, Mourning Great Grand-Daughter, 13

The death of Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great grand-daughter in an early hours car crash in Johannesburg as she was being driven back from last night’s kick off concert in Soweto – just a day after her birthday – has turned what should have been a triumph into a tragedy for South Africa’s first family.

Day 1 Predictions

South Africa vs. Mexico:
As I said yesterday, I think the ref could have a decisive role in South Africa’s opener against Mexico. Call me unpatriotic, but I’m finding it hard to imagine Bafana Bafana putting El Tri on the back foot, despite the crowd. More likely, it’ll be a tight affair, with both sides more desperate to avoid losing …

90 Seconds With … Quinton Fortune

Hopefully the first in a regular series on TIME’s World Cup blog, 90 Seconds With … will be interviews with some of the names that have graced the greatest show on earth. First up: a former South African superstar.

Who’s the Key Man in SA vs. Mexico?

The key man in Friday’s World Cup opener, which pits hosts South Africa against Mexico, could be Steven Pienaar, or Geovanni Dos Santos or Carlos Vela. But it could just as easily be Ravhan Irmatov. No, he’s not same late addition to the squad of either Bafana Bafana or El Tri; Irmatov is the 32-year-old Uzbek referee officiating in …

World Cup Concert: The Real Rebels of Rock ‘n’ Roll

If you’re one of the hundreds of millions expected to tune in for the concert kicking off the World Cup in Soweto tonight, keep an eye out for Tinariwen, due on stage at Orlando Stadium at 9.30pm local time (3.30pm EST). In the 60 odd years it’s been around, rock ‘n’ roll has progressed from the sound of rebellion to the sound of a …

Global Poll Predicts World Cup Winner

The BBC has conducted a worldwide poll of footballing experts to give us the all important top four — in the correct order betting fans! — and they’ve rolled out the results over the course of this week. And now we know who’s going to win.

Let The Cussing Begin!

We all saw reports Wednesday that the trio of Brazilian referees officiating the England-USA match Saturday are memorizing a list of 20 swear words in order to sanction any foul mouthing like the kind Wayne Rooney dished out during his team’s final practice match Monday. Today, FIFA stepped up to point out it wasn’t responsible for the …

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