What a way to welcome back football. By now, you already know that Arsenal lost their seventh game of the English Premier League season after suffering a three goal hammering at the hands of second placed Manchester City on Wednesday night. The loss blamed on Brazilian defender David Luiz kept the former Invincibles in ninth, with, well no hope of European football next season.
At our local kafunda, fans could not hide their excitement at the resumption of English topflight league after 100 days with the Arsenal chaps hurling all sorts of insults we last heard some three months ago.
A couple of Liverpool fans in attendance kept shouting they’d ‘Never Walk Alone’. This annoyed the other fans even more.
Before Wednesday, the Kops thought the league would be cancelled and the long wait to lift a trophy ending in naught. Clearly, 30 years is not a short time to wait.
We had managed to cram ourselves into the poorly-ventilated room like grasshoppers in a container and hide throughout the 90 minutes of the beautiful game as early as 5pm. Earlier, we had dozed through the Aston Villa and Sheffield United game.
The subsequent hours after the game that involved sneaking through panyas to beat night patrolling LDUs were worth it. It is also a story for another day. For starters, football had already returned, with the German Bundesliga having resumed mid-May.
A week before the Bundesliga resumed, the K League of South Korea opened stadiums to virtual fans while the chaps from Belarus never stopped kicking their balls about.
Closer to home, Tanzania became the first country to return to live football on June 13 with strict adherence to social distancing.
Oh, did I mention that German footballing giants Bayern Munich on Tuesday were crowned champions in an empty Weserstadion in Bremen after a slender 1-0 win over Werder Bremen? Well, that triumph, an eighth consecutive championship was overshadowed by the return of Uganda’s most watched league, already wrapped up now.
When the kafunda group risked contracting Covid-19, divorce (for some) and lengthy jail terms just to support their favourite teams several miles away in empty stadiums, we realised how much we had missed the beautiful game.
With bated breath, we started from where we stopped in March. We screamed. We hugged. We made new friends.
We momentarily forgot Covid – the plan for the next 38 days. 90 games are on the cards starting with tonight’s mouthwatering encounter between Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur and his former side Manchester United.
Another night out trying to elude LDUs awaits some of us. Hello football.