Saturday, May 15
After emailing photo and editorial content to British and Italian journalists Tore drops me at the Livingstone Stadium where Zambia (including players based in Holland, China and Egypt) are due to play the Southern provinces. Outside the stadium over excited rugby scrums of locals are trying in vain to squeeze inside. I wasn't expecting this, but then I didn't realise that the first President of Zambia (1964-91), Kenneth Kaunda, is the guest of honour, prompting many thousands to turn up here. It is hot, dusty and chaotic. Many give up trying to get inside and go home, while lines stretch around the walls of the stadium.
Two soldiers, guarding one of the entrances, let me through as I climb under a broken gate. Inside thousands are crammed behind two-metre high metal fences, many surging forward as the stadium MC announces that KK is about to greet the players on the pitch. This is a big deal for the locals. Kenneth Kaunda is still held in high esteem by many Zambians, who see him as responsible for helping to end colonial rule and putting the country on the right track to its new found independence. KK, now aged 86, jogs on to the pitch along with his huge personal entourage, which includes a gargantuan body guard who appears to be three metres tall.
When KK joins in a quick kick about the crowd goes wild, before the former-president leaves the pitch at a noticeably slower pace than he arrived, looking like he has rather overdone it in all the excitement.
I would love to stay and watch the whole match but it is uncomfortably hot, uncomfortably overcrowded and uncomfortably close to the kick off time of the English FA Cup Final.
Tim, Axel and I jump in a local minibus and head for town.
The Capitol Theatre, a colonial 1930s cinema, is showing Chelsea v Portsmouth on its big screen. Back of the net! For less than a pound we are each ushered to our seats where, instead of popcorn, a theatre employee walks around selling Castle Beer.
This really is a theatre of dreams and, for the locals, the closest thing to ever being at an English football match. Fittingly, therefore, those present are wearing Chelsea shirts and scarves and create their own crowd noises in addition to those communicated from Wembley with the horns and rattles they have brought to the cinema. It is a beautiful football moment as Chelsea hit the woodwork for the fifth time in the first half and I witness dozens of Zambian football fans jump up and down in this atmospheric old cinema.