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Orange and red fans sweep S.African World Cup final

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-10 23:44:10


JOHANNESBURG: Fired-up Dutch and Spanish fans rallied for the World Cup final on Sunday after travelling through the night and shelling out thousands of dollars to support their sides.

Long lines of fans, mostly orange-clad, entered the showcase Soccer City stadium as gates opened at 1230 GMT for the sold-out match as others waited outside in the hope of scoring a ticket.

"When we won the semi-final, my wife said `we must go to Africa.` We had one day to decide what to do," said Tom Dollevoet, as he paraded with celebrating Dutch supporters to a train to the stadium.

Dollevoet spent 12,500 euros (15,800 dollars) to experience the match with his wife and two children.

"It cost a lot of money, but the fun we have you cannot describe. All day we`re singing in the airplane, in the bus, at the campground. It`s amazing."

Dollevoet, a resident of the southern Dutch town of Oss, was headed for the stadium from Pretoria alongside fellow singing, vuvuzela-blowing Oranjecamping fans after a parade in the capital.

Among them was Jelle de Beer, from Hellevoetsluis on the Dutch coast, who arrived in Johannesburg at Sunday morning and had slept just two hours.

"We are living on adrenaline today," he said. "It cost a lot of money, but nothing compared to the party we`re having here."

With kick-off at 1830 GMT, Euro champions Spain`s first World Cup final inspired Pilar Escandell to fly out from the Spain`s Mediterranean island of Ibiza for the match.

"I hope we win, I am very happy and excited. I never thought I will see my team win the World Cup," she said dressed in a Spanish track top and waving the country`s flag.

Escandell was with four other people who had only one ticket between them, but was adamant she will be inside the stadium to see her team win.

Donovan Torres, from Barcelona, wearing a matching Spain hat and scarf, was too tense to say anything.

"I don`t say anything before the game, I don`t want to jinx things for my team," he said.

"I expected the team to go to the finals because it`s the first time we have a good and strong team."

Torres got his ticket for the match just hours before the game but refused to say how much he had paid.

"My friend`s sister sold me her ticket," he said. "I am going to witness history, there is no price."

Dutch fan Jos de Lange, a 22-year-old from the central Dutch town Brummen, whose outfit included orange stockings, said he was excited and nervous. Ticketless, he was hoping to secure a seat outside the stadium.

"We have come so close so many times before. We won all our games even the qualifying ones. We just need to win just this one game again."

Orange-clad Amsterdam resident Rob Polderman came to South Africa in February to prepare for the tournament as a board member of the official fan club which is traveling in an orange double-decker bus shipped from Holland.

"We are specialist fans for the national team. We knew we would be in the finals," he said.

"It has been a wonderful experience and South Africa is a beautiful country.

Guillermo Caceres from Ibiza predicted a 3-2 to Spain.

"I booked my ticket last year already, back home the country is red. This has been a good World Cup but tonight it will be the best."


BDST: 2136hrs, July 11, 2010

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