I am reminded of an Austrian story from the 1994 World Cup. Austria did not qualify, but this did not stop intrepid Austrians from traveling to remote corners of America, like Foxboro, Massachusetts, to follow the World Cup.
Friends of mine boarded a train in Boston only to find half a dozen worldly Austrians also heading to Foxboro to support Nigeria. My friends were looking forward to securing various Nigerian paraphernalia to show their support for the African nation. Flags, scarves, rattles. The usual football fare.
The Austrians, however, had already taken it to a whole other level and in a way that only Austrians can. Fuzzy wigs, blackened faces and fake bones clipped on to their noses. Apparently, they really thought they were being funny. They just didn't get it. You just can't make this stuff up.
If Austria don't qualify, South Africa will be spared the lederhosen experience, but officials at Oliver Tambo International should be on high alert and be sure to examine the suitcases of visiting Austrians very carefully.