Posted: 6/17/2014
Title: FAN ZONE IN THE SAND

Blog:                                                                                                                         

It started a a trend in 2006 at FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY with huge fan zones in Berlin and other cities across the Federal Republic. I enjoyed the one in Munich at the OLYMPIAPARK next to Olympiastadion where I watched the 1974 World Cup Final and 1988 EUROPEAN FINAL.

We sat in the shade of trees on the banks of the lake with the giant screen out in the lake. In the background was a giant hill constructed from rubble from World War II and the site of the pre war aerodrome. There were live bands and lots of places to buy food and drinks with joy rides for the children. one million packed the Berlin site. Prior to a match in Hamburg we went to St. Pauli fan zone but it was too hot, so chose a cafe/bar below a house full of hookers in the Red Light District, For 90 minutes they had no customers so watched the match.

COPACABANA FAN ZONE on the beach last night was AWESOME. Most people took their shoes off in the fine sand and entered through turnstiles to the 500 v 100 metre zone. either side were sponsors pavilions and food and drink kiosks- a beer in a plastic cup was 6R or 3 for 18R,,(about 6 or $9 US.)

CLINT DEMPSEY- Captain America- put USA ahead in 27 seconds. I had been at both Ghana victories over the Americans in Nurnberg 2006 and at Rustenburg 2010, so maybe this would be different. The Africans equalised in the 80th minute before BROOKS scored a dramatic late, very late, winner. About 20,000 fans and half dressed in stars and stripes clothing and face paint. Half time I had moved up front as a rock band played for the dancing, bouncing crowd, shown on the gigantic screen above the stage.Back on AVENIDA ATLANTICA it was chock a block 15 deep past the beach side cafes .

June 20th 2008 we were at the Arena on top of FESTUNG KUFSTEIN, in the small but pictureque border city on the River Inn. In 1504 Maximillian I triumphed at The Seige of Kufstein. Eating a pizza from Pizza Paradiso and drinking some German Auer Brau beer we climbed to the top of the fortress for what could have been a Baltic Bloodbath. Quarter-final CROATIA v TURKEY. Maybe 2,000 fans, 80% Turks. After 1-1 it went to penalties. Croatia missed 2 and one was saved and the Turks advanced to the semi-finals v Germany.A great night even for neutral fans to enjoy.

Tuesday night in Rio de Janeiro. Across the road from our luxury apartment we walked 100 meters to SUICA-House of Switzerland restaurant on the banks of the Lagoon, where 2016 Olympic rowing will be held. Under the trees decorated with fairy lights we sit in comfortable rustic wooden benches with lambswool blankets and the floor covered in sawdust.

A giant screen shows South Korea v Russia which starts with a goalie clanger, The menu is upscale.. cheapest sandwiches 25 R about $13.00 and very expensive drinks. By half time no waiter or waitress shows up so we leave for a short stroll lakeside and photo opportunities with the large cows, cowbells,a photo opp. in front of a huge portrait of Kosova born Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri a giant snow globe for the kids to bounce in fake snow, and enjoy and a free photo in a ski lift dressed in Alpine cloaks and funny hats against a mountain backdrop. Very peaceful amongst the Beautiful People of Ipanema.

Wednesday LIVE, BACK AT MARACANA for World and double European champions Spain v Chile. Do or die time for LA ROJA after their 5-1 drubbing from The Dutch,

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