The Africa Nations Cup is, sadly, not being shown on any US cable or satellite channel. So we’ll have to take the Observer’s Brian Oliver at his word about the organizers’ efforts to make the stadiums look full.
“Is this a football match or a Devo concert?’ a bemused television technician asked on his way to work at the Cairo Military Stadium on Wednesday evening, where two of this summer’s World Cup finalists featured in an African Nations Cup double-header that was beamed around the world. ‘I don’t know,’ said his colleague. ‘I think they look more like colour versions of the spermatazoa in that Woody Allen film.’
For those who do not recall the dress code for fans of the early-1980s post-punk band, or who did not see Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask,, just think young men in brightly coloured jumpsuits: red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, light blue. Lots of them. A convoy of 32 battered army trucks disgorged 600 or so in the stadium car park, and another 3,000 marched in from the military academy next door. They were there – and have been in lesser numbers at other matches in Cairo, Port Said and Alexandria – to put bums on unsold seats and add a welcome touch of colour and atmosphere.
In the spirt of harmony and goodwill, I’m willing to make the following deal with the Human Whoopie Cushion’s weekend understudy. If he or she is willing to discontinue their pathetic, unfunny attempts at covering soccer, I vow not to live-blog from Lowell, MA during the Curling World Championships.