Baobab a bad omen for giants

THERE could be number of World Cup upsets at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the ground that is inspired by Africa's upside-down baobab tree.

THERE could be number of World Cup upsets at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the ground that is inspired by Africa's upside-down baobab tree.

Considered a lifesaver by the locals, the baobab tree has unexpected qualities despite its unusual upside-down appearance.

It looks as if its roots are sticking out of the top, but the trunk stores large quantities of water and the cork-like bark is fire-resistant and used for cloth and rope.

Now it is represented in concrete and metal structures standing in the corners of the Peter Mokaba Stadium, a new 45000-capacity ground on the outskirts of Polokwane, the capital of Limpopo and the northernmost city to stage matches at the 2010 tournament.

If local legends expect an unexpected because of the strange baobab tree, that could be bad for former World Cup winners France and Argentina when they play their group games at the stadium.

The French will face Mexico in a Group A match on June 17 and Argentina will take on former European champions Greece five days later in Group B.

The other games being staged in Polokwane are between Algeria and Slovenia in Group C on June 13 and Paraguay and New Zealand in Group F on June 24. - Sapa-AP

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