Breaking into Amahoro Stadium

By June 17th, 2013

Family & Friends,

Soccer is king in Africa. I jumped at the chance to watch a qualifying game in the Soccer World Cup: Rwanda vs Algeria in Kigali at the Amahoro Stadium. For less than $10 you get box seats with the rich people. The downside is that security is tight, extra tight, with President Paul Kagame attending. He sat just to our right. At the outside gate there was a mob of ticket-holders. The first pat down was enough to get the ACLU riled up. We got near the stadium and someone tore our tickets again or took them. Alas, we were in the wrong section. Out the door, but now we needed a ticket for the next entrance. They fished through their collection bags and gave us back a ticket scrap. Next we faced an armed guard who refused us because of cell phones. After much dickering we all gave our cell phones to one guy who sat in general seating. One more screening machine and pat down. We arrived at our section feeling like criminals who broke out of our cell bloc. The Rwanda team was expected to get beat easily, but it was a very close game though Algeria prevailed 1-0. Rwanda did not get a good shot off at the goal in 90 minutes, but defended well. It was a beautiful peek into Rwandan life and I was glad to be there.

G

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