I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned about how many tragic incidents have so far befallen the World Cup in South Africa. I don’t want to be alarmist but I’m beginning to wonder if there is a curse. Here are a few incidents that have occured over the last couple of weeks…
Nelson Mandela‘s great-granddaughter Zenani (13) died last night in a car crash when the car taking her home from a Soweto concert on the eve of the World Cup overturned. The car’s driver has been arrested for drink-driving.
South African tenor Siphiwo Ntshebe (35) died on 26 May after suffering from acute bacterial meningitis. He had been selected to sing ‘Hope’, the official anthem of the World Cup, at the opening ceremony.
While not technically World Cup related, three British students were killed yesterday in Nelspruit, 205 miles east of Johannesburg, when their safari bus crashed. At least 16 other Britons in the party of students were hurt, three critically.
Let’s also not forget what happened in Angola at the African Cup of Nations back in January. Togo’s assistant coach, press officer and driver were all killed in an ambush on the team bus with two players also shot and injured in the attack.
Add to this all the incredibly long list of injuries where players have had to drop out of the tournament completely you do wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye.
Even without a web search I can name seven players who have been badly injured in the run up to this event: Michael Ballack (Germany), Rio Ferdinand (England), Arjen Robben (Holland), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Ghana), Nani (Portugal) and John Obi Mikel (Nigeria).
There’s a bit of Chelsea thing going on there – how weird is that? Maybe Theo Walcott is glad he’s staying at home now.