By all estimates, Mbale stadium looks like the last place anyone would want to go to have some fun.
It is, to say the least, in a deplorable state. The perimeter wall is dilapidated and the gates are broken. Inside, stadium toilets are broken you wonder what the huge padlock at the door is meant to secure. Part of the stadium is used for growing maize and cassava. But that is the beauty of football, the World Cup, to be precise.
It was at this stadium that hundreds turned out to watch Cristiano Ronaldo score his only World Cup goal as Portugal beat Ghana last Thursday. The event was organised by the soft drinks giant Coca-Cola. As one of the sponsors of the World Cup, Coca-Cola noticed that Brazil was so far away and not everyone could go.
So, said Coca-Cola Brand Manager Brandon Ssemanda, the company tried to recreate the Brazil experience with a public viewing of matches in selected venues across the country. The Mbale event saw performances by Mun G, Cindy, Coco Finger and other artistes before the 7pm kick-off.
Younger Usher, a local luga-flow singer from Namatala in Mbale, welcomed the screening in his home town.
“I feel good to see that we can catch World Cup live on such a big screen it is an hornour and God’s blessing,” he said.
This weekend is Gulu’s turn, followed by Hoima and Kampala, with the finals at Hotel Africana.
Source : The Observer