On Saturday, a group of us went to a Uganda Cranes game at Namboole stadium -- something I've been hoping we'd get a chance to do before returning to Canada (there aren't many home games...maybe three since we've been here). Anyway, the entire experience was so typically African. Our special hire was over an hour late to pick us; then we waited in line for a long time to get in only to discover that the stadium was totally jam-packed and there were absolutely no seats available despite the fact that we had opted for VIP tickets which cost three times as much as regular tickets. We heard later, that the event had been massively oversold (70,000 tickets for stadium that seats only 40,000!) so you can imagine just how crowded the place was. Just when it looked like we would have to cut our losses and head back home without so much as a glimpse of the pitch, we found ourselves at just the right place at the right time -- a small side gate with a manageable group of VIP holders like ourselves who were equally unimpressed with their plight. Someone convinced the attending guards to allow us through and we wound up in the company of the media and security guards not far from the sidelines. It was an important match, a qualifying game for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and Uganda beat Guinea Bissau 2-0. The energy in the stadium was amazing! Check out the video for a little taste of the team spirit we observed.
And here are a few pics.