Amakhosi arrive in Tunisia

Tunisia Day 1 – 24.10.01

The trip was long but the Chiefs have finally arrived in Tunisia. As you all know we left on Tuesday, 23.10.01 from Jhb International airport @ 19h50, we went via Paris & got to Tunis this morning @ 10h30.

Tunisia and Tunis (the capital) seem very beautiful. The hotel we are staying at is very luxurious & is located right in front of the beach.

You can’t compare this setup to the Egyptian one, here the Hotel, not only has Internet facilities (which makes my life much easier), but it also offers a lot of sport facilities like volley ball, tennis courts, basket ball, swimming pool, table tennis, darts, archery, water sports etc.

Everyone here at the Hotel seems to support Esperance so they are really making an effort in assisting us with all our requirements. It’s amazing that they actually want Club Africain to lose!

I wonder if Chiefs supporters would feel the same if Pirates supporters had to be in an African competition . . .neh ! I really don’t think so !

We’re not « peace & loving » people for nothing and besides that, we are rivals only on the field, not off the field. Well that shows you how passionate these people are about their soccer teams.

There is one thing that I have noticed, since I have been traveling with the team and from the stories the officials and players have told me, and that is that Africa is definitely a predominately soccer loving continent.

Africans breathe, live, eat and dream soccer & it comes across very strongly through their passion and culture.

That makes me wonder why in our country, South Africa, where the majority of the population supports soccer (more than 50%), TV programming gets interrupted to show a live cricket game (5% population) but will never be interrupted for televising a live soccer game or moreover will not allow a soccer game to be played in residential areas and if they do, they will only sell a limited amount of tickets, just in case there is an invasion of soccer fans.

Meantime, rugby and crickets supporters can enjoy all these luxuries even though they represent together about 20% of the population . Maybe I am over doing it a bit, but these are my thoughts & am curious to know if anyone else fells the same way.

Anyway, back to the glamour boys…..they are ready to have lunch now and are going for a training @ 17h30.

After training, dinner is scheduled for 20h00. I forgot to mention that kick-off on Saturday, 27.10.01 has been moved up to 17h00 instead of 20h00. So SuperSport and all of you reading, please spread the word, as the game will be televised live on SuperSport 3.

As you all know, on Monday, we officially launched our website and our partnership with SuperSport Zone. The fact that I can submit you have all these updates so promptly, proves that this relationship is definitely beneficial to all of the Amakhosi family and to soccer loving people in general.

A big thank you to all @ SuperSport Zone, you guys are doing a great job! Viva SuperSport Zone Viva.

Well I’m out for now, will hook up with you tomorrow morning after training! In the mean time our mission stays the same and that is to spread love & peace in Tunisia.

Tunisia Day 2 – 25.10.01

It’s 12h00 here and we have just come back from training. We are training at Club Africain’s grounds.

Club Africain is a sporting club where you can play a number of sports, eg volleyball, handball, basketball and soccer. They have facilities for all the mentioned sports & have a big development structure as well.

The set-up is very nice: there is a main building that includudes the administration offices of the club; flats for the development kids who are not from the area; a media lounge; an industrial kitchen and the dining area.

Their first team (Club Africain) trains there but camp in a hotel. Their grounds are a bit rough (danger of injuries) and still to be completed, but a well-thought out structure as a whole.

Infrastructure in northern African countries is not as nice as ours in SA but the concept and development of sporting facilities at grass-root level are there and it’s all financed from the local goverment.

Anyway, both yesterday’s and today’s training sessions were exciting and the coach seeems happy with the progress and fitness levels. The players’ spirit is high even though they know that they have a very tough game in front of them.

All the Club Africain supporters are confident that their team is going to beat us 3-0, so we need to prove them wrong and the boys know that.

At the training grounds this morning I met a local journalist by the name of Mourad Teyeb (a freelance journalist for le Temp & correspondent for African Soccer magazine).

He was updated with everything that was going on at KC (thanks to our website) and interviewed the coach and Thabo Mooki, who, by the way, everyone knows here because of his amazing performance in the first leg.

Mourad is a Club Africain supporter but, and I quote him, “when I write I forget my passion & am objetive in my stories”.

He also commended KC for being very organised both on & off field, in terms of training, sponsorships and the ways we communicate with our supporters (now this guy really did his homework!).

He wished that Club Africain had played against us in the final rather than in the semis, as, in general, Tunisian clubs like playing against South Afican teams because of the good facilities and infrastrucutre they find when they play in SA.

He hopes that soccer in SA develops to very high standards, ones that will be acknowledged appropriately within SA, throughout the continent of Africa (he was commenting on yesterday’s article on the website regarding TV programming etc) and within the other sporting institutions in the country.

He concluded by saying that in order to achieve all of this recognition, winning this and other trophies is an obligation and hopes that SA will be hosting the next World Cup, because, to him, only SA has the infrastructure & facilities in Africa to host such an event (and I cannot but agree with him).

So, Amakhosi, my time is up, everything here is very expensive, including internet, so I must go now. I will try to get a player to chat on the chatboard later, before we go for training at 16h30 today. So stay in touch and keep on spreading love and peace throughout the web.

Amakosi-4-life – Your correspondent – Vivian