Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Let's get tribal

By Diane Baker and Martin Williams  /  STAFF REPORTER


There's no shortage of Aussies in Taipei, but there's no word of a mass gathering of Socceroo supporters. Given that the Brass Monkey (166 Fuxing N Rd, (02) 2547-5050) has an Australian manager, Australian fans might find their best bet is to head to Fuxing N Rd for all-night matches with advertisement-free English commentary.


As of press time there was still no word on an exact location for Brazil's colorful band of supporters, but it's likely to be in the Tianmu area near the de facto embassy. Just listen for the beat of Brazilian supporters working themselves into a frenzy and you'll find them.


Whenever there's an England match, there are England fans in every nook and cranny. But if you want to do something out of the ordinary, consider what's brewing at Talking Bar (2F, 176 Yonghe Rd Sec 2, Yonghe, Taipei County). There will be lots of activities for the England games, including face painting, singing and pre-match hijinks to get you in that 1966 World Cup frame of mind. For more details, contact Phil Dawson on 0936-697-476.

France and Switzerland

The place to be for the first match for these teams is the Tavern Premier as the French look for a better performance in a first-round match against the Swiss than against Senegal four years ago. Because the Tavern Premier (415 Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei, (02) 8780-0892) is Swiss-owned, there's bound to be some hilarity and good-natured banter for the entertainment of all (and a free welcoming drink). And we can almost guarantee that owner Michel Blanc will treat Swiss nationals to a keg if the Swiss make it into the final.


Don't know who to support if your team didn't make it to the finals this year? Try following the hosts. A group of loyal Germany fans will be gathering at Wendel's German Bakery & Bistro (5 Dexing W Road, Tienmu, (02) 2831-4592), where they will follow their team's progress live on the big screen. Owner Michael Wendel will also be arranging special offers, food and drinks -- and games.


The Dutch army of fans -- from the de facto ambassador down -- is warning that Taipei will be turned a blissful orange by the Round of 16. Accordingly, the place to join them is the Dutch-owned Bliss (148 Xinyi Rd Sec 4, (02) 2702-4371) for the first game against Serbia and Montenegro.

South Korea and Japan

The co-hosts of the last World Cup have fanatical fans at home and away, but not apparently in Taipei. The South Korean trade office told the Taipei Times that Koreans prefer not to gather to watch games in groups here "in case anything happens." Lighten up, please! Based on their efforts four years ago, the Korean team is worth gathering anywhere for. Japanese nationals in Taiwan, like the South Koreans, are more likely to be watching at home or at the office with their work colleagues on brand-spanking-new LCD TVs.


A gathering of Swedes and other supporters has been confirmed for the team's opening game against World Cup debutants Trinidad and Tobago at Saints & Sinners (114-116 Anhe Rd Sec 2, Taipei (02) 2739-9001).

United States

Plenty of Americans come to these fair shores, but not so many are interested in soccer. The good news is that faithful fans of this rising soccer power will be able to enjoy live coverage of the World Cup at Sigis Restaurant at the American Club Taipei (47 Beian Rd, Taipei (02) 2885-8260) -- but only if you're a club member. Others will have to settle for more downmarket settings, but there will be plenty of fellow Americans around the traps to make the trip worthwhile.

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