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SA shivers during FIFA WC party

sports Updated: Jun 18, 2010 02:20 IST

Glamorous Brazilians in skimpy bikinis are staple fare at the WC but in South Africa you're more likely to see fans wrapped up in scarves and gloves as the nation shivers.

Temperatures have plummeted to close to freezing at some games, giving a totally different feel to a tournament usually played in blazing summer temperatures as players swap drinks bottles for gloves.

Argentina 1978 was the last WC held outside the summer months, after which the tournament has sizzled in Spain, Mexico and the USA.

The South African showpiece opened in Johannesburg last weekend in warm sunshine but since then cold weather has swept across this nation from the north right down to Cape Town on the southwest coast.

In high-altitude Bloemfontein, temperatures in the coming days are due to dip well below freezing, with the South African Weather Service issuing an alert for very cold weather and a black frost.

In northern Rustenburg the plummeting mercury prompted hundreds of volunteers at the Royal Bafokeng stadium to muffle up for the New Zealand vs Slovakia clash. Bright sunshine during the day means England, based in Rustenburg, at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountains, have been training in conditions similar to those of an Alpine ski resort.