28 July 2009

Luanda League Futebol

One of the newly arrived MBAs and I have taken an interest in the local soccer league, and have managed to see a couple of games so far. There’s a stadium two blocks from our office, so on several lunchtime outings we passed by to ask the security guards hanging out at the stadium what time the next game would be. The answers varied, but after three such trips we ended up with 2 votes for 4pm and 1 vote for 3pm. We tried to look in the newspaper to verify the time, but that effort (and a related attempt to find start times on the internet) didn’t prove fruitful. We put our faith in our research and planned for the 4pm start, only to arrive halfway through the first period (the game actually started at 3:30pm).

Ticket prices varied widely – from 500 Akz to 4000 Akz (the latter with access to a buffet lunch). Jeff and I opted for the 500 Akz seats, and found ourselves sitting next to a rag-tag band featuring trumpets, trombones, drums, and the plastic blowhorns that are the scourge of African soccer games (get ready to hear about this during next year’s World Cup). The stadium seemed to be designed to hold as few spectators as possible and featured no concessions the day we were there. Although the stands were hardly full, there were enough fans to teach me some new choice curse words. Turns out the team owned by the president’s son defeated the team owned by the president (2-1). Judging by the small crowd at the game, most people in Luanda could have cared less. There are other much more popular teams though, and we’re hoping to catch one of them next time…

Estádio dos Coqueiros - somebody stole the seats:

Police-to-fan ratio approaches 1:1

Just happened to catch the aftermath of the game's first goal:

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