With Spain, the European champions, coming to South Africa, it was expected that they would play to full houses wherever they went.
Against New Zealand at Rustenburg on Sunday evening however, the 40,000 capacity Royal Bafokeng Stadium was less than half-full at kick-off.
It is a disappointing start for the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Inside the stadium, South African journalist Daniel Mothowagae of City Press, a Sunday newspaper, explained to Goal.com the reason for the lower-than-expected turnout.
One factor is that the North West Province of South Africa, where Rustenburg is located, is hardly a hotbed of the beautiful game and not easy for the rest of South Africa to reach.
“People from this part of the country are not into football so much,” Mothowagae said.
“They won’t know anything about New Zealand and probably only know Fernando Torres.”
“This is not really football country. There hasn’t been a South African Premier League club here, though a franchise was moved here recently (Platinum Stars moved here in 2006), it has yet to take off.
“People here prefer to stay home and watch South Africa on television and that’s probably what they did today.”
John Duerden, Goal.com