Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sneaking in at the KLFA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur

Please allow me to present to you the 18,000 capacity Stadium Bolasepak Kuala Lumpur, or the Kuala Lumpur Football Association Stadium if you prefer. The stadium is home to two teams; Kuala Lumpur FA and Felda United and, as I found to my embarrassment, home to school sports days.

Felda United are the team of the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority, an organisation that oversees the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas, hence the slightly naff nickname of 'The Settlers'. The team was formed in 2007 ,with the aim to work with the children of settlers to "transform the youths into towering personalities" (always good to have a grand, slightly nonsensical, aim) and reach the Malaysian top flight, something they achieved in 2010 by winning the Malaysian Premier League and gaining promotion to the Super League.

KLFA were formed in 1974 and joined Malaysian top flight football in 1979, winning the league in 1986 and 1988. After a seven year absence they returned to the Super League for the 2010 season, finishing ninth and with attendances averaging 1,000. They look set to end this season slightly further down the 13 team Super League table.

The club have just announced a link up with Liverpool, this will see Liverpool assist in the development of the KLFA Academy and no doubt see (shell suit) trouser a few Malaysian Ringgits.

Anyway's photos:

Happily my arrival coincided with the arrival of an Ice Cream Motorbike. I say happily, this bastard followed me round Kuala Lumpur for three days and made a fortune.

The magic gate.

The tragic state of deceased footballs. Heart breaking. Please notice the ball on the far right, still showing signs of life and gallantly trying to escape. Godspeed sir! Godspeed!

The crushing realisation I'd (magic) gatecrashed a school sports day.

However, a big AiT 'Congratulations' to Zara Faidz for winning the Year 4 Girls 200m race. *doffs cap*

Token ground shot.

The British relay team carry out another shambolic handover. They shouldn't even be here. Embarassing. It's a school sports day you losers!!

The KLFA Media Centre. Lovely array of plastic chairs. Shit wi-fi.

I'd love to take a dump in a 'VIP Toilet'.

I'd love to take a dump in a VIP Ro....I wouldn't. I would. I so would. I wouldn't.

Women's role in football. Ironic winky face.

The sun loungers weren't the best. They were inside for a start.

Sadly I wasn't able to find the magic gate of the nearby 87,000 capacity National Stadium. Getting past security wasn't a problem though.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sneaking in at Racing Club Strasbourg

This was one of the most dangerous AiT 'Sneaking In' missions so far. I probably wouldn't have bothered going at all if I'd realised that the city of Strasbourg also has a team called FC Kronenbourg, I'd have been all over that tinpot/beer cross in a gaelic shrug of the shoulders. Any jokes about them playing a 1-6-6-4 formation will be instantly deleted.

First, some facts which have been copy and pasted from Wikipedia, then altered slightly to give the impression of some element of research.
  1. When permission to build the stadium was given the land was in Germany. The land, like the rest of Strasbourg, is now in Le France.
  2. U2 played here in 1993 supported by The Velvet Underground.
  3. One of the first bicycle kicks was scored in this stadium, by the Brazilian Leonidas, during the 1938 World Cup.
  4. The stadium is fully rectangular
  5. Pope John Paul II played here in 1988 supported by Father Dougal McGuire.
Anyway, here's the latest in the series of boring photos from a ground I've trespassed around.

Dull shot of exterior of uninspiring ground. Check.

A helpful map, sadly not indicating the magic door to get me in.

Fair to say that sneaking in wasn't going to well. Bet Bono didn't have this trouble getting in.

The French resistance.

Aha! The magic gate, but what the chuff is that. It's heading straight for me!

It's on my right as well. Zoinks! I'm surrounded! Decide it's an autopsy on the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters and I should be safe.

Decide to take a dull picture of some seats and pretend I've not seen it.

Attempt a half seat/half pitch picture in an attempt to see if "the thing" is still there.

Decide to head for the exit, just to be sure. Left my proton pack at home and this ground isn't really worth the risk.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sneaking in (well, around actually) at Sporting Lisbon

Here on AiT we've already given you some handy hints on how to combine a 'cultural trip' to Lisbon with sneaking off to football grounds, without the missus suspecting a thing. Click here for cheeky tips on Almada and here for Belenenses.

Now, Sporting Lisbon's home ground, the Estádio José Alvalade, is going to take some work on your part. However, there is a shop at the ground and in my extensive knowledge I have learnt that the fillies like three things; knitting, Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' on teary repeat and shopping. So, there you go the perfect excuse. Tell her you're going on a 'shopping trip'. Don't tell her the shop there is a Lidl. Because it is. And you'd get a slap. Good luck.

Now, to the gallery:

When Tetris goes wrong.

Show off's. So what, I've got a cycle proficiency certificate on my wall.

We got the old AiT chinook out and took this aerial shot of the old ground.

Ha! I'm such a crazy joker. It's actually a replica of the old ground made entirely of sugar. No, really it is. Would I lie to you?

Of course a replica of the old ground made entirely of sugar!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Sneaking in at Belenenses

I've said it once and I'll say it again; Lisbon offers the ultimate 'sneaking in a tinpot football ground while the missus thinks you're doing something cultural' opportunity.

I've given you the heads up for Almada AC and if you're feeling brave read on and have a cheeky go at getting your way into Belenenses' ground, the Estádio do Restelo. For your information Belenenses play in the Liga Orangina, of course the Liga Orangina!!

Belenenses play in the district of Belem, which is home to some of Lisbon's most famous tourist attractions like the Torre de Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. The Tower and the Monastery are both on the banks of the river Tagus and just up the hill, a mere accidentally on purprose wrong turn away, behind the Monastery, is this cheeky little number.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sneaking in at the Nou Camp

Barcelona Champions League Celebrations
Sunday 29 May 2011
Nou Camp, Barcelona
Attendance: 100,000+

To say I was shocked when Josep Guardiola phoned me up, said he was a big fan of AiT and asked if I could take some photos of their Champions League celebrations is a bit of an understatement (and a massive lie). After packing my sombrero and castanets I was able to take up a place in the clouds, unpack my crappy camera and take some trademark AiT ropey pictures. Enjoy!