Remember how last week I blogged about my hatred of football? (Remember when whatshis face booted that ball boy who he thought was time wasting?) Well I have a confession to make about football. I think I have changed my mind. I think I love football now.
Let me explain
This week I met a group of lads with whom I had, on the face of it, nothing in common. Nothing. They were lads who lived near a slum in Accra. We met them when meeting a lady who made beads having received training from an organisation called SISS. We had chatted to her and out of the corner of my eye I saw a chap arrive carrying a box. So I turned and chatted to him (more about him in a subsequent post) and then decided to have a chat with the other lads.
Where do you start? A dozen lads in their early twenties in a slum in Accra. And me. A middle aged housewife from the UK who lives in relative luxury.
“So Ghana are going to win the semi final tomorrow, then?” I enquired as I knew they were through the semi finals of the African Cup of Nations.
They all jeered and told me of course they would and how they were excited about the match. I told them I had watched the previous matches. I say watched. They might have been on in the background and I sat with “that” face as I have no interest in football remember.
“What do you think about the Premiership?” I asked
“Man U, Man U” one of them shouted
I replied that red was the wrong colour. It was all about blue as Mr B supports Man City. One of the other lads looked at me sheepishly and said “I like blue too”.
“Don’t tell me” I said “you support Chelsea, don’t you?”
He agreed he did. Another chap piped up that he supported Barcelona and the other lads laughed at him. Not in a nasty way but in that jovial way lads do when talking about football.
Me, a thousand miles from home, and a group of African lads near a slum. What do we talk about? What could we possibly talk about. Football.
Football is the one great leveller the world over.
The whole conversation was over in ten minutes. But they made a real impression on me.
So much so that we recorded the match with Ghana versus Burkino Faso last night and watched it after getting back from parents evening.
And when they lost on penalties I felt more emotional than I ever have when England have done the same.
Come the next World Cup I know who I am rooting for.