Indian flavour to German support in SAfrica's cricket hotbed
Members of South Africa's ethnic Indian community, who usually only have eyes for cricket, came out in force Sunday to cheer on Germany in the football World Cup.
"The World Cup is too big an occasion to give it a miss," said Shamilla Subramoney as she queued to enter Durban's Moses Mabhida stadium to watch Germany take on Australia.
"I am supporting Germany because of my sister who lives there. I have also visited the country and love it," said Subramoney. "They are better than than the Australians and have a lot of stars."
Durban is home to the largest concentration of ethnic Indians in South Africa and it was perhaps not surprising that supporters would plump for anyone but the Socceroos.
Rivals to both India and South Africa on the cricket field, Australia's football association also managed to get up South African noses in the build-up to the tournament by questioning their ability to host the event.
Durban has traditionally been one of the hotbeds of cricket, with the Boxing Day Test one of the main fixtures on the South African sporting calendar.
In contrast, Durban's main football team, AmaZulu, have been perennial strugglers although they did reach a cup final this year.
But even though India were playing a Twenty20 international in neighbouring Zimbabwe and South African were taking on the West Indies in Trinidad, cricket took a back seat.
Rajesh Chetty, wearing a German replica jersey, said he had long been a fan of the team and was hoping that they would emerge as champions in the first football World Cup on African soil.
"I like the German style of football. This time around I hope they take the trophy home," he said of the team who last won the tournament in 1990.
"But I am disappointed by the absence of (German skipper) Michael Ballack due to injury," added Chetty.
© 2010 AFP