Whilst we were driving around Lobatse looking for the New Lobatse Stadium we stumbled across a game taking place on a pitch that we subsequently discovered wasn‘t too far from the ground we were after. It was a little out of town, or at least the part of town that had shops and offices. It did have cows wandering along the roads though, so that makes it the best part of town.
I find it hard to drive past a match of any sort without stopping for a while and so I parked up and had a wander over. The pitch wasn’t up to much, not unless you were planning on planting potatoes, but they had nets. They also had around fifty people watching, suggesting that apart from going for a walk with the cows, there’s not much to do in that neighbourhood on a Sunday.
The team wearing red had Pelenge Kicks on the back of their shirts, from which you could reasonably conclude that they had been named by Chris Waddle. I couldn’t see anything on the shirts of the team wearing yellow, so we’ll just call them Yellows.
A count up of the players confirmed that it was eleven a side, but it looked fairly congested. The keeper at my end was wearing number 300 on the back of his shirt, perhaps giving an indication of the size of the squad and his usual place in the pecking order.
One team scored whilst I was watching although I can’t remember which one. It was at the far end though if you want to try to work it out from the photos.
There were a few kids having a kickabout behind the goal and I asked one of them if he knew the score.
“Yes“ he replied, and left it at that.
As I was leaving one of the other kids asked me if I had two Pula. That’s around fifteen pence. Tempted as I was to respond in kind with a “Yes“ of my own I gave him the handful of change that I had in my pocket, which was probably no more than a couple of quids worth. He instantly became Mister Popular amongst his mates.
I’d seen an advert in the paper for a farm workers job that paid five hundred and fifty Pula a month and so that loose change was about equivalent to a day‘s pay. Frightening really.
Anyway, interesting as it was, we still had a stadium to find and so we left them to it