Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The Quarter Final Part II

Checking in for the 8.15am flight from Kumasi to Accra reminded me of going to the doctor in Paris.

Check in time was listed as 6.30-7.30. So I was there at 6.40. The City Link check-in operative didn't arrive until 7am.

I've had 9am appointments at the doctor's and she's not arrived until 9.25. An appointment slated for 10.40 means you won't get seen till nearer 11.30. Time is reappraised in her surgery. Maybe she's worked in Ghana. I'll have to ask her.

Egypt beat Angola 2-1 on Monday night in Kumasi to go through to the semis. The rowdy supporters were there again. And some seemed to get into the mixed zone. A short, stout man with a winning smile beneath a fez came in with his oud.

He got in via the players' side. Perhaps he's a mascot. Whatever. He twanged his thang and imbued the mixed zone with a hint of eastern promise. Oh hang on that's straight from a 70's advert for Fry's Turkish Delight.

Never mind. It's a phrase from my childhood so it's from a formative period and can be appropriated.

The mixed zone did sound authentic though. Interviews with Egyptians to the plangent strains of an oud. Rock the Casbah as Joe Strummer once sang. How very bazaar, I say. Officious policemen repeated their ludicrous trick of rushing players through a place where they're allowed to stop and chat.

The organisation is a farce. You can't overlook it.

My interaction with Kumasi is over. I was going to return on Saturday for the third place play-off. But I'll stay in the capital.

Thursday's semi between Egypt and Cote D'Ivoire in Kumasi will be good - a rerun of the final two years ago which Egypt won on penalties. The latest clash is too tough to call. Actually I'm not even going to bother to predict.

The cracker in Accra (my turn of phrase) is the Ghana v Cameroon showdown.

I have absolutely no idea which way that one will go either.

Maybe I can't concentrate.

I've started my second pineapple.