Goals, bottles, bees

THE moment Red Arrows announced on their Facebook page that fans wearing the team’s replica jerseys will be allowed free entry into Nkoloma Stadium to watch their Super League match against Nkana, my instinct told me there could be more to this game. As it happened, it was more than I had bargained for. But in the end, it was not necessarily what you would want to see at a football match. My colleague, Angela Ntentabunga, who was at Nkoloma on Saturday in her official capacity, sent me a video of the happenings at the stadium. I could not quite believe it that this was happening at a football match. It could have been any footage taken from a war zone. Of course so much was at stake at the game, with Arrows looking to cement their stay at the top of the table and title-chasing Nkana eager to close the gap on the leaders. But there was a delay to matters being settled; first when the two teams’ attires clashed and then when the bees decided to participate in the proceedings shortly after the hour mark. Elsewhere, the presence of bees would have been interpreted differently. You know the thing about juju in football. But I could not quite understand how the two teams’ attires could clash. Somebody did not certainly do their work before the match. But what I could also not understand is how that there were so many bottles of beer at the stadium. Those bottles could not have been remnants from Christmas or New Year celebrations. It appeared like there was a party at Nkoloma Stadium just before the match and someone forgot to clear them before a game of football could be played. Or maybe there was a kitchen party. I understand that nowadays kitchen parties can rival the Oktoberfest in terms of availability of alcohol. In fact, from some of the unpublished pictures, I saw someone about to throw a Black Label bottle on the pitch. Black Label has become a favourite drink for some of our women. Whatever the case, someone was sleeping (edit that to drinking) on the job. We should not have had so many breakable bottles at the stadium. With Nkana made to borrow an unusual green jersey from little-known Blaze FC – an amateur team – they were unrecognisable on the pitch. The only time you could recognise that it was indeed Nkana playing was when their skipper Alex Ng’onga pushed Arrows midfielder George Simbayambaya to the ground after being fouled. Fortunately for him, the referee did not spot him. Otherwise, it would have added to the drama of the day. I suspect that if Ng’onga was to be sent off, the Nkana supporters – used to seeing that kind of aggression in the famous Kitwe derby – would have probably applauded the former Power Dynamos striker for that. Whether the pre-match histrionics did play their part or not, the performance of Nkana was not what the supporters expected. Arrows are in fine form, but I doubt most of us would have had bets on them scoring three unanswered goals past Nkana. But that is what exactly happened. To make matters worse, former Nkana player Fred Tshimenga was the scorer of the third goal. But there was no magnanimity in defeat for Nkana fans, who responded by throwing beer bottles and other missiles on the pitch. From some of the unpublished pictures seen, those who were not throwing anything on the pitch were nonetheless happy to watch their colleagues do so, going by the expressions on their faces. We all know Nkana fans. If this was an isolated case, it would have been understandable. But there was also fan disorder at Sunset Stadium where Zanaco were playing Green Buffaloes. It is the reason why FAZ were compelled to issue a warning about fan disorder. For comments, or

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