We’ve arrived in Uzbekistan, that’s for sure.
Equivalents in cash
So then, more bureaucracy. Oh joy of joys. Still, on better note, we’ve just heard that Ananova published an article about us yesterday. Big shout to Ginny for the coverage. They’ve titled it “Football fans create World Cup’s version of Olympic torch” which we like – some nice touches too, such as the first line:
“A group of men (!!! – ed) are taking a football from London to Japan to create the World Cup’s version of the Olympic torch.”
The Ball hits the bar in Tashkent
Our stay in Tashkent has been brief – just long enough to organise how to get out of the place, in fact. We’re heading for the ancient and historic city of Samarkhand, built by Tamerlane to be the capital of his vast empire stretching far and wide across Asia.
Chris looking concerned as he leaves Red Square
The long ball from the centre of defence to midfield went straight to feet. We landed safely in Tashkent, though it was touch and go to say the least – the ball could easily have been intercepted, and we would have been left wide open at the back. Let me explain…
We love this sentiment, which we found at the training ground just outside Luzhniki Stadium… given the current troubles in the Middle East, does anyone fancy organising a game between Israel and Palestine, like the one at Christmas in 1914?
Could sport ever really bring peace, or is it just naivety?
We got up at 6.30 this morning for a photo-shoot in Red Square for the Moscow Times (read the story here) – which went very well, apart from me having to pay a “fine” to a militia guy with 500 Roubles (kindly negotiated on our behalf by Martin, the photographer) to persuade him to give Phil his passport back -all for using a tripod to do a panorama of the square!
If you’re reading this, my Russian friend, I hope you like this photo of you with Phil.
A Torpedo Zil ticket
The Russian translation of our trip:
Phil gets all arty with the digital camera (sorry Phil!) and debunks one of the myths of this trip at the same time (sigh):
Group shot post game with the Torpedo Zil youth team
What a storming game of football we have just played… Post Moscow derby match between Locomotive (“Loco, Loco”) and Torpedo Zil, we gathered signatures on our World Cup ball, like football star trainspotters (a small bottle of ‘nail lacquer’ to protect) and attracted a crowd of young up and coming Torpedo stars whose trainer was only too happy to agree to their demands of an England/Russia showdown on the training ground across the car park.