I watched this in a gentrified old estate pub/social club in Brixton, at the inaugural meeting of the heavily ironic South London North Korea Supporter’s Club. It was organised by Chris of the excellent Football Voodoo blog. It was a role playing kind of football fandom. We addressed each other as “comrade” and mock-criticized the imperialist pig-dogs of brazil and their capitalist overlords, Nike.
For me, this was the night the World Cup came alive. Mainly because in the face of the football failing, we made our own fun, tenuously claiming the Brazilian goals should be disallowed on ideological grounds and really going bonkers with genuine joy when our comrades scored the “winning” goal.
Some thoughts on the game:
1. The vuvuzelas, like them or no, are far less noticable when you actually care about what’s going on in a match.
2. The DPRK team represented the Old World Cup of yesteryear/romantic memory. Here was a side that we knew next to nothing about. The vast majority play in their homeland. Indeed, most are amateurs. Pictures of the team kit were even difficult to source ahead of the competition. They were, as surely most World Cup squads used to be, an unknown quantity. Which is very rare nowadays given the globalisation of football labour & consumption.
3. Ironic football consumption is actually a lot of fun. And genuinely engaging. A shortcut to the ecstatic ritual of sporting celebration.