08 July, 2010

Miss the Germany v Spain Semi? FIFA has something to tell you...

If you were in South Africa and caught the Germany v. Spain game live, you're lucky. For hundreds of fans traveling to Durban to catch the 2nd match, a mess of delayed flights, re-routes and re-directions ensued as FIFA VIPs including Charlize Theron, and Spain's King Juan Carlos, and no doubt Sepp Blatter, got preferential air traffic treatment from the South African Government.

One air traffic controller in South Africa is quoted by “Some fans didn’t manage to get to the game because we had to turn those aircraft back. We had lots of air traffic from the two countries that are playing.” One flight even experienced trouble when several unruly fans were justifiably upset that their plane would be re-routed due to "numerous business/private jets" on the runway.

Uh, yeah, and I see FIFA clamoring to get them the refunds on their tickets. Oh, and by the way, the attendance for the Semi match was 60,960. There were seven games played in Durban and all of them had a higher attendance.

Wow, and everyone thought FIFA was the only greedy one. But this one was almost completely the fault of South African Air Traffic Authority's issue. Glad to see I caught the complete game from the comfort of my basement, on the 40" with beer in hand rather than at the back of a 737 with my hand on the in-flight phone screaming at FIFA to postpone the match.

Hey, to all of you who did make the flight and got the shaft, FIFA hopes your 17hr flight home is just as eventful as the one there. Somewhere, Douglas Adams is laughing.

Photo: Jeremy Pepper

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