They’ve done it again
Our boys have managed to give us one crazy Sunday afternoon once again. The result might have come while we were contemplating the idea of sharing the top position at the group table but that only added to the excitement at the end. Late goals are always so fun when they’re in the net but the previous minutes are nerve- racking. Going through 88 minutes without a goal when your spot at the group table is at stake is tormenting. Getish, God Bless his soul, saved us all from having to go home with sad faces.
We’re sorry that it has taken us a whole week to write about the latest match. Attempting to write a small article and picking out the best photos out of the hundreds we’ve taken is a lot harder than we anticipated earlier but we made it into the stadium this time around so we’ve got you an ‘inside story’.
We obviously had to go through 6 to 7 hours of staying in line for the tickets and as usual the lines were unbelievably long. For future reference, if you aren’t there by 9 in the morning then don’t even think about showing up around that vicinity. Stay home and hope ETV will broadcast the match in one peace 😉
We’re starting off with the fans because lately we’re seeing a remarkable amount of support for the national team and we feel it should be acknowledged. Wearing the team jersey, painting faces with green-yellow-red paint and wrapping oneself with our flag is becoming a norm these days. Everyone gets hyped up about whatever game the team has played, plays, or is going to play.
A day or two before the game, a sports program on the radio was saying how supporters should back their team all 90 minutes. It’s easier said than done, dear friends. You see, football is sometimes like a suspense movie. You get caught up in all the action, fear the other team’s gonna score or see your team miss a goal and you just forget why you’re there in the first place. Support your team!
Right before the Waliyas got into the stadium, there were three uninterrupted rounds of a Mexican wave and it was beautiful. People were cheering for the first 10 minutes of the game and they didn’t seem to want to leave the stadium afterwards either.
Considering our level of support and attendance we’re probably going to turn out to be one of the World’s greatest football fans but we come with our own sets of demons. We fans, in general, tend to overstep our boundaries and rant about what should and shouldn’t have been done. But let’s face it; it’s not really our job. We’re raising this issue because we witnessed quite a large group of fans throwing filthy words at our coach which is not the best way to show support when your team has actually won.
No room for the ladies
I hear the national stadium is very old and from the way things are going for our national team we’re going to need a much bigger venue, possibly equipped with a much better shelter and a restroom for the ladies. Let’s take a second to talk about the restroom. In the world we live in today, restrooms are normally divided into Men’s room and Female’s room, right? Well, not if you’re going through the ‘Keman Anishe’ side of the Addis Ababa National Stadium. The national stadium, for God’s sake! I’ve been in the ‘kibur tribune’ section of the stadium and there’s a descent bathroom at that side with different rooms. I guess you can say ‘The difference is visible’, if you know what I mean.
Over at the ‘keman anishe’ side there’s one ‘restroom’ with absolutely no room for privacy. I don’t know why the place was built that way but I’m guessing they didn’t feel the need to build a ladies room due to our minimal presence. Nevertheless, I think building a ladies room should be considered. If I prepared a petition for a proper restroom, will any of you girls sign up? I’m 99.9% sure the Football Federation is going to tell me it has bigger things to worry about than a ladies room but it might be worth a try.
The game was, to be honest, not that interesting. The first half was deadly boring, in which, the silence of the stadium was a proof of. There were certain players (from our side) that played impressive football but the game in general was dull. The atmosphere was so much more vibrant before the game and obviously afterwards but during the game it felt mostly like we were all in a funeral. Besides a few cheers here and there, the entire arena was quiet. But the game wasn’t the only thing that turned our moods off. The weather goes at number two for chilling our vibe.
If you needed to teach anyone about the types of weather, it’d have been a great day. Addis Ababa’s climate is a funny one. I’m an Addis native but not once have I ever had the weather predictions right. My advice. When you leave home, make sure u have the kind of clothing you might need in times of any possible kind of weather. Addis Ababa is full of surprises, one of it being the weather. It can be so gloomy and cold in the morning and in the afternoon it’s like you’re living in the middle of a desert.
When the stadium opened up at around 12:30pm, the sky was clear and the sun was blazing hot. A couple of hours later, in the middle of the match, the sky started to darken, then it cleared up again and then the darkness descends over the skies again and the rain pours. It wasn’t that the rain was heavy but it took it forever to wind up. Umbrellas weren’t that helpful either because for one it were getting in the way of our sudden bodily reactions to goal attempts and two, the rain wouldn’t stop. Our only other option was to ditch the Umbrellas, which we did.
To those of you who watched the game on TV, I heard the ETV’s live transmission was cut for most of the second half but just so you feel better, in all that time you missed the game, we were soaking in the rain. Btw, transmission continued at about the same time the rain stopped, not that we understand what the connection was. The camera men from the station were still recording so it must have been ‘technical difficulties’.
After the rain, there was a rainbow over the stadium that day and we were saying to one another how rainbows were a sign of hope and we weren’t wrong.
Despite the blazing sun, the pouring rain and lack of appropriate restrooms, we’re just glad that the day ended in victory. We thank the Waliyas and the beautiful Addis Ababans who made it such a wonderful day.
The Waliyas don’t have a game until June but we’ll be back VERY SOON! Until then, we leave you with these pictures