The beautiful game…and a day of mixed emotions

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Thu, 08 Nov 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On Saturday the most surreal experience I had during my visit to Ibba was watching 2 football matches with Bishop Wilson and Abraham, the local Police Commander.

Shortly after my arrival on Tuesday I was informed that Manchester United had beaten Chelsea 3-2 the previous Saturday, by some friends on the Diocesan compound, Kennedy from Nairobi, Ronald from Uganda and Oliver from Ibba. We had all enjoyed the banter from the Kawaja Chelsea supporter (me) during my previous visit. I reminded them that Chelsea was still leading the Premiership League by one point. But revenge was sweet during the week when Chelsea beat Man United 5-4 in the Carling Cup, of course I constantly reminded them of the result.

After the completion of the Ibba Diocese Choir Competition on Saturday, the Bishop invited me to go to watch Man United and Arsenal play. I of course agreed, but as we walked into Ibba village I was trying to imagine what lay ahead. I then noticed throngs of people milling around a shop on the main street, but there was no sound of a television to be heard. We entered the shop and there were rows of chairs and at least 20 people sitting in the small space, sitting in front on 2 small TV’s. By this time the match was mid-way through the first half yet there was no picture or sound as people scurried around trying to fix the ‘technical’ problem, a dodgy generator. We decided to sit and wait to see what would transpire.

Within a few minutes, Abraham, the Police Commander, joined us and gradually the small shop filled with eager MU and a few Arsenal fans. Some 20 minutes later, after too many false starts, the TV’s came to life and was tuned into the South African, Super Sports satellite channel. We had missed the first half…but now could sit back and enjoy the second half commentary. In the end Man United won 2-1 in what was a poor Arsenal display, especially after they were reduced to 10 men. It was certainly a partisan crowd in the Ibba shop, with the majority Man U fans going wild as the final whistle blew.

As we got up to leave I was hoping that Chelsea would not surrender the top spot when they play Swansea City later. We then discovered that the Chelsea match was on another channel so, as the Bishop is also a Chelsea supporter, we returned to watch the match. Of course the United supporters also stayed to see if they could take the top spot, but when Chelsea finally scored I danced around in celebration. When Swansea drew 1-1, a couple of minutes before full-time, the place erupted as the MU fans went crazy because they now knew that United were now leading the Premiership, by one point.

Saturday was definitely a day of mixed emotions – celebration for the Cathedral Youth Choir’s success and frustration as Chelsea threw away a one goal lead.

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