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Monday, June 26, 2006

World Cup open thread

Happy happy, joy, joy

Jun 26 11:00 ET Italy v Australia
Match 53
Jun 26 15:00 ET Switzerland v Ukraine Match 54 Cologne

Beer, bratwurst and German joy
By Sam Wilson
BBC News, Munich

The hospitality and organisation of this World Cup for visitors without match tickets has been well documented.

But such was the enthusiasm to watch Germany play Sweden in Munich on Saturday that both were stretched close to breaking point.

Umpteen thousands showed up at Munich's magnificent Olympic stadium and park to watch the match on two big screens - and that was several thousand too many.

Ninety minutes before kick-off the trains ceased to run because police had shut the stadium. A steward deliberately shepherded us onto a bus going in the opposite direction before we cottoned on.

When I eventually made it to the gate, the police were apologetic but firm. While some desperate fans scanned the perimeter for a hole in the fence, some rushed around aimlessly and others wandered confused.

Some proffered weeping children - others press passes - and in a few cases the police hustled us in.

The queue for bratwurst and beer would have made a glacier seem impatient, so those gasping in the heat turned to the ice cream stall, where cola ice lollies were being sold by the litre.

In the stadium people sat on steps, in gangways and on laps - the fanfest has become a throwback to the days before stadiums were super-policeWod. But there was no anarchy here, just a single-minded force of will behind Germany.

I think this Olympics World Cup has been fun. You have drunken brawls, but little real hooliganism. A lot of gracious behavior by everyone, a month long party. Which is a good thing. A lot of ghosts have been excised

posted by Steve @ 10:46:00 PM

10:46:00 PM

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