2010 WORLD CUP MANIA

WORLD CUP excitement has reached fever pitch in Durban to the extent that a group of soccer fans in the Sydenham area have gone the extra mile to show their support for the beautiful game.

WORLD CUP excitement has reached fever pitch in Durban to the extent that a group of soccer fans in the Sydenham area have gone the extra mile to show their support for the beautiful game.

The fans, known as the "corner boys", are so enthused about the World Cup that they have forked out thousands of rand to buy paraphernalia to adorn their street and park with flags that represent each of the 32 countries taking part in the tournament.

Butcher Road in Sydenham is home to Bafana Bafana striker Delron Buckley, who has not made the Bafana Bafana team for the World Cup.

Sean Buckley, chairperson of the Butcher Road community and Delron's uncle, cannot wait for the kickoff.

"We are known as the 'corner boys', but we have formed a committee to formulate what we are doing," Buckley says. "Everyone is so excited about the spectacle coming to our country - it's a once-in-a-life-time opportunity."

Buckley said the plan was to convert the local park into their own fan park in time for the kickoff on June 11.

"We plan on setting up a big screen in the park to show the games."

He said residents of the vibrant community had contributed to turning the road into a "soccer haven".

"We approached residents and asked them to contribute. This is not only for the soccer spectacle but to bring down the crime rate in the area. People see the boys in the park all the time and think twice about doing anything wrong."

Buckley said the initiative had helped reduce the "gangster element" that once crowded the area.

"Most of the guys now come here to enjoy themselves.

"Some of them have come to realise that the World Cup will be a great way for them to relax and enjoy themselves.

"After the World Cup our plan is to build a soccer field, but right now everybody can't wait for the games."

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