Saturday, March 29, 2008

Setting the Score Right

Footballing, as a "brand", is priceless. You pick up your loyalties at the pre-language stage of development when your football-mad relative gets you a 6-12 months size of the team's strip. And that's it for as long as you're spared, the next 80 years perhaps. (Think of someone who's changed teams, go on, and I'll guess that they're a shite).

However, new geographical circumstances mean you can, with an adult's rational mind and all the baggage you've brought from your first team, choose a new side.

So, let me see. I want a team that'll make me feel at home, and that must be Al Madina. They play in black and white and perennially flounder in mid table. Perfect. Another good thing about them, although they are unlike Newcastle in this respect, they are a team of mostly Libyans, with a Libyan manager.

As someone said to me, the only thing that holds them back is money. They have a neglible web presence, at any rate in English, (I've spent twenty minutes trying to get an image of their crest which didn't come out pixellated. The photo on the left there, which looks as if it might have come from the 70s, I found here.). The other two Tripoli teams, Ittihad and Al Ahly, especially the former have lots of cash and other resources. They're the big-two of Libyan football.

The downside is, I haven't yet located any other fans, most of the people I've asked are Al Ahly. I need to find someone to guide me through the process of getting into the ground, tell me what not to wear, and not to shout out during the game. Football can be a tricky business, you know.