- 17 Jun 06, 02:30 PM
Before I left for the World Cup our departmental administrator Kofi chucked some packets of earplugs my way.
I was told I needed them for Health & Safety reasons in the stadiums to protect my hearing. All I thought was "you're having a laugh".
I wanted to sample World Cup atmosphere full-on and suffice to say, the earplugs mysteriously vanished from my suitcase.
But I was regretting losing them, so to speak, at the Germany-Poland game. The amazing racket of the home fans was non-stop.
Anyway, as I now think I’ve got my hearing back (what? I hear you say!!) after the battering my eardrums took - I will fill you in on which countries' fans have impressed me so far.
The German fans have been especially top notch.
Despite being frustrated by Poland, the team just kept going and when they scored - phew - the place just went absolutely mental.
There was trouble expected at the game but I didn't see any.
There were obviously more police on show and arrests were made but everyone just seemed to want to have fun and Germany's fans were certainly revelling in their victory as they blocked up the train station afterwards.
All the fans I’ve seen have been brilliant but there are those that stand out for one reason or another.
Croatia's fans might have been outnumbered and their side a goal down, but they were easily louder than the Brazilian contingent when the two countries played.
The number of Mexican supporters has surprised me but, all in all, there's a great atmosphere when you see the fans at the moment (let's hope it continues) and I just feel like partying along with them. Obviously, I haven't…yet.