German victory over England does not impress sunbathers

By Dhruti Shah
BBC News, South Bank, London

image captionSome sunseekers tried to get the best of both worlds

There may have been tears in South Africa when the England World Cup team lost to Germany, but with some parts of the UK basking in a heat wave, many sunseekers were more concerned with topping up their tan.

In London, thousands of people took advantage of the 30C temperatures to stroll along the South Bank.

Many others took their ease on a temporary sandy beach along the River Thames - courtesy of the Greek National Tourist Organisation.

Easy life

And on the dunes, it was clear the weather was making far more of an impression than the football match.

A few minutes before kick-off, Sarah Warrington said she planned to top up her tan before going to the pub to support England.

Her friend, Ingrid Noble from South Africa, was less bothered by the result.

She said: "My team has already gone out so I'm sitting on the fence.

"It is exciting living in London and seeing the support for England. But if they lose, it will make life easier for me."

She said she had been trying to book a pub to host her birthday drinks party - but landlords were waiting for the England result.

"If England lose, then I'll be able to actually book somewhere," she said.

As play began at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, nursery worker Rashelle Morgan said she was not planning to let anything distract her from taking advantage of the London sunshine.

She said: "For me watching the football is more about the sociable aspect rather than knowing exactly what's going on. I like the partying involved when we win.

She was unconcerned about missing the match: "People will probably text me and tell me what's going on."

Fellow sunbather Rolanda Paja, 19, from Crystal Palace agreed. She said: "I support England but it's such a nice day today.

"I've made a compromise - I'm wearing England's colours."

A few deck chairs away three friends - Jasmin Dhillon, Varan Bagga and Tikki Bishwakarma - were watching the match on a mobile phone.

Ms Dhillon said: "We're seeing what the live feed says. We might go to the pub to watch the second half as that's when it tends to be more exciting.

"This beach is brilliant but there is no way we can miss out on what's happening with the football.

"This gives us the ability to do both. Although it would be better if they had a big screen here so we can chill out and watch the match."

Just then, news broke that Germany had just scored their first goal.

image captionFans were buying ice creams and listening to the match simultaneously

Mr Bagga opened his mouth in shock and anger while Ms Dhillon looked despondent. Said Mr Bagga: "We may just stay here if this is the way it's going to go".

Nearby sunbather Giovannis Sorras sipped his drink and said he supported Brazil and had no interest in the England match at all.

He said: "I prefer the weather to the football. It's so rare for it to be like this in London, why would I want to be cooped up?"

But banker Jeremy Berdah, following the match intently on his mobile phone, showed more interest.

After discovering Frank Lampard's goal had been disallowed he said he was "rather peeved".


Along the promenade, customers gathered around The Little Mixing Factory ice cream van in search of something cool as well as a match update on the radio - provided courtesy of ice cream maker Jo Dockery.

As Ms Dockery served frozen yoghurt and ice cream, her face crumpled in dismay as the BBC Radio 5 live commentator announced Germany's fourth goal against England's one.

She said: "It's exciting listening to the coverage but the team has played poorly. It's shocking. The weather has been the highlight rather than the football."

Boss Richard Shanks agreed and said: "We've had people stop by - boyfriends who have been dragged out and others just wanting to know what was going on.

"But what happened is laughable.

image captionEngland fans say they were depressed by the result but enjoyed the weather

"It's a shame about the disallowed goal but the result is just ridiculous.

"Maybe the players should concentrate more on the game rather than showing off their cars and money."

As the result sank in, fans who had watched the game on a big screen nearby, slunk out out on to the South Bank in despair.

Wearing England team shirts, Ed Hansom and his friends said they were depressed by the result.

But, they agreed, "At least the weather was nice".

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