Euro2008 Spain vs Italy #1: Thanks a lot, SABC.

I’d been looking forward to last night’s Euro2008 match between Spain and Italy all week. Spain has been my team since the 2002 World Cup, and Italy is always my second team (because, seriously, no-one in their right mind actually expects Spain to progress past the quarter-finals of any tournament, so it seems prudent to have another team to support in the latter stages). My heart is entirely with Spain though, and of course I wanted to see them break the June 22 QF curse last night.

Now I should point out right upfront that we don’t have DSTV. I know… how can one be a sports supporter without it? Well, it’s really difficult, to be honest. I don’t get to watch F1, I miss all the overseas cricket and most of the rugby, and I’ll tell you that I don’t get to see a curling match very often either.

Anyhow, this was not supposed to be a problem last night, because SABC3 was showing all the Euro2008 QF games… or so I thought. But, in a masterful repeat of the Rugby World Cup debacle, when they decided that it was not entirely necessary to show that silly, pointless other semi-final after all (despite having listed it on their schedule), they failed to broadcast last night’s game. Yes, despite having listed it on their schedule.

Apparently what had happened was that they weren’t going to be showing Saturday’s game, until all of South Africa complained (because all of South Africa – except me – was supporting the Netherlands); so they decided at the last minute to show the Netherlands/Russia game, and instead not to broadcast last night’s Spain/Italy game. Without changing their schedule.

(An aside: Dear SABC, the nice thing about having one of these new-fangled “internet-sites”, presumably, is that you can change things in real-time. Could you get someone to look into this, just on the off-chance that there are more like me who actually believe the things you put on there? Thanks.)

I only found this out at 20h30, when I switched the TV on and discovered that a movie was starting. My mother tells me that she realised something was up when she heard the continuity announcer warning that there would be “violence, language and nudity” in the next show. Plenty of violence in soccer of course, if the contorted, pained facial expressions of the Azzurris are to be taken seriously; and with Marco Materazzi playing, I suppose bad language is a fair likelihood too. But nudity?! No, I think I would have noticed. So… not soccer then.

So Paul and I grabbed our laptops (like the nerds we are) and headed down to the Keg at Glen Garry centre (the closest restaurant with TV screens). Aaaand… you’ll have to wait for the second instalment to find out what happened next.

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