The last time I went to the stadium, it was the new President’s campaign rally about 6 weeks ago. The grass was knee high and it looked more like a cow paddock.
Depending on who you work for and whether you care, yesterday was a public holiday.
I was told of a football (ie soccer) game on yesterday afternoon and thought I should go and see my 1st ever game at the stadium, thinking there had not been one for a long time. I was later told there was a game a few months back when the army and police held a reconciliation game but I knew nothing of that one.
The first game was a slightly humourous affair between aged UN staff and a Timorese government team which included a few ministers. It was a nil all draw but the Timorese government team won on points, saved only by a very competent performance from the UN goalkeeper. There was a large contingent of ISF soldiers watching the game as they were part of the organising group with the Timorese football association (FFTL).
The 2nd game was between a F-FDTL team (I think) and a PNTL team. The standard was significantly higher than the 1st game, with the result going to F-FDTL 1-nil on penalty. They could have won by a bit more if some of the goal shooters were a little less goal hungry.
The conditions were hot and dry with a steady breeze from the north (ie sea) making comfort as good as you are going to get here. The ground was hard and the bounce looked like they were playing on concrete at times. The pitch was reasonably flat with patches of dead grass and the occasional bobble which upset things at times.
I imagine if it were well-watered and rolled, it would come up pretty well.
I brought my own water, but imagine sitting through 2 football games with no pies and beer. No food or drink sales to be found, even with a crowd of 1500 (he guesses). I was so hungry by the end, I could have gnawed the bum out of a rag doll.