Posts Tagged ‘Al-Wehda’

Al-Shabab Reserves v Al-Wehda Reserves, Friday 19th May 2023, 4pm

May 25, 2023

I’m a little wary these days when I see age-group or lower tier games listed at the Prince Faisal stadium as I’ve turned up at least twice only to find that the match was taking place elsewhere. This one was a reserve fixture featuring the two sides whose first teams had clashed at the ground the previous evening and as it had been a late addition to the website match listings, I had high hopes that the venue might be correct.

Unfortunately, I had stuff to do and so wouldn’t be able to see the first half, but I thought that if I caught the last half-hour or so it would be worth the fifteen-minute walk from where I stay.

Arriving at the stadium I quickly checked out the practice pitch where there was nothing going on. Moving further around I was able to see into the main stadium and there was actually a game going on. Excellent. I continued around until I reached the main entrance which was open to let people into the sports centre.

All of the gates to the football ground looked to be shut and each one had a policeman loitering. I headed around to the right where there’s an entrance big enough to allow an ambulance in. With the pitch in sight a steward called a halt to my progress and after a short conversation it was established that spectators were strictly prohibited. As was taking photographs. Hmm.

Still, I like a challenge and so instead of returning from where I’d came, I continued around the perimeter until I reached the big open stand that runs along one side of the pitch. I walked purposefully as if I had a right to be there and was ignored by the first steward I saw. Once out of his line of sight, I tried a closed gate. It opened, and I was into the stand.

The sun was getting low and so it made watching and taking photos difficult from that section. I came back out and moved further along towards a fenced off area where there was a steward with his back to me. I dodged up a stairway, taking the six flights of steps that brings you out on the upper tier. This got me past the fence and the steward and allowed me to enter the stadium far enough along not to have to look into the sun.

The scoreboard revealed that Al-Shabab were four-nil up and a quick look around confirmed that I was the only spectator. I watched the action for a couple of minutes and then, keen to avoid any police attention, made my way back down and looked for an open exit. Everything was shut other than the gate that I’d came in by and to get to that I had to complete my lap of the stadium interior, again with a purposeful stride. I exchanged nods and a smile with security on the way out and left them to it.