Invader Tries To Grab Cup
July 11, 2010 Leave a comment
The immediate lead-up to the World Cup soccer final was marked by drama when an invader crossed the pitch at Soccer City here and tried to grab the trophy off its stand.
The rival teams Spain and Holland were in the tunnel ready to take to the turf, with dignitaries including President Jacob Zuma primed to do likewise, when the man – not exactly running at breakneck speed from the far side of the ground and slow to be spotted by security men – advanced to within breathing distance of the gleaming cup.
As he appeared to lunge at it, an official unceremoniously pole-axed him to the ground right in front of the massed ranks of photographers, as others joined the melee.
He was picked up in a forward “dive” position and bundled away, as FIFA people frantically beckoned to the players to create a gap for his evacuation through the tunnel.
Less than a minute later FIFA president Sepp Blatter was noticeably booed by sections of the capacity 90 000 crowd as he accompanied South Africa’s head of state onto the pitch.
The one-man pitch invasion was a near carbon copy of an incident in the semi-final between Spain and Germany at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, when a young Italian who had conned his way close to the pitch claiming to be wheelchair-bound, briefly interrupted the game after it had started.