RICHARD MADDOCK encourages readers, And we did,  to enjoy the Cup wherever they are and that is what I am doing in Paramaribo — although, alas, the Italians just beat us.

I watched the match in an outdoor bar drinking Parbo Bier — under canvas in case of an equatorial downpour — at a table next to an Italian gentleman who didn’t take kindly to my presence.

The said gent made gestures I chose not to interpret at every good move made by the Socceroos, who dominated the game until the last excruciating minute.

The locals, who were not particularly interested in the match, but love soccer, found the unlikely duo in their midst a good sideshow, and by the end of the game, were barracking for us.

Which seemed natural, given the large open air ‘auditorium’ was festooned in green and yellow. Of course, it wasn’t for Australia, it was for Brazil and maybe it was a good thing I wasn’t here for our match against that country.

So where am I? Paramaribo is the capital of Surinam, north of Brazil, between Guyana dn French Guiana, in South Amercia.

Mixed feelings

There are always mixed feelings in the former Dutch colony about supporting Holland, but a lot of Surinamers play in Dutch teams. None was selected for the Cup team so the locals are happy to barrack wildly for their Brazilian neighbours.

But back to Germany … Richard mentioned the scalpers, who wanted and got $1000 for tickets to the Australia/Brazil game.

Well, the international edition of of the UK’s The Guardian newspaper of June 24, carried a front page story about desperate fans willing to shell out huge amounts for tickets from touts.

“Meanwhile, not far away but separated carefully behind steel and glass, popstars mingle with politicians and writers rub shoulders with media big wigs in the hospitality areas. They savour fine wines and take their pick of hors d’oevres before being ushered to their padded seats with perfect views.”

The story by Steven Morris and Andrew Culf goes on: “Out of the 3 million tickets for the World Cup, about a third ended up with sponsors and corporate hospitality. Fifa’s 15 ‘partners’ and six suppliers received almost half a million tickets while hospitality hoovered up another 350,000.”

Margaretta Pos

The said gent made gestures I chose not to interpret at every good move made by the Socceroos, who dominated the game until the last excruciating minute.