Ushering locals to Slovenia

I WAS Slovenian for a day on Friday. I learnt to chant their famous soccer slogan though I cannot remember how to spell it now.

I WAS Slovenian for a day on Friday. I learnt to chant their famous soccer slogan though I cannot remember how to spell it now.

Slovenians are a happy bunch of fans and that was clearly visible on Friday morning when they had their reception at Hyde Park High School before the game between their team and the US. The two-hour festivities were aimed at introducing South Africa to Slovenia as a gateway to Europe. Guests were treated to Slovenian wine and potica (walnut strudel) and music.

Ivan Simic, president of the Football Association of Slovenia, congratulated Fifa and South Africa for successfully hosting the World Cup .

One of the highlights was when Slovenia's President Danilo Türk strolled into venue without armed guards. Most of us were not even aware that he was the first citizen of Slovenia until he was introduced.

Türk, who arrived in South Africa the same morning, wished his national team well. It showed when the Slovenians took a two-nil lead against the more fancied Americans in the first half. The game ended 2-2.

After the reception it was off to Ellis Park for the much-anticipated game. By then, yours truly had stuck a temporary tattoo on my cheek reading: "I feel Slovenia."

X