The women’s gold medal match on Thursday was a great experience. We took the train into London and then the tube out to Wembley Stadium in the afternoon so we could avoid some of the crowds. Many folks had the same idea as we did.
Right next to the stadium is a TGI Fridays so we popped in there for some American style food. It was a nice treat after a month or more of English only foods.
Outside the stadium were food booths and souvenir booths. Everyone was in a festive mood and there were many Americans in the crowd, the most Americans weve been around in awhile. Mostly they were the rowdy ones.
Entry into a European football stadium is interesting. We had to separate into lines for males and females. Small doors, exactly the width of one person are cut into the sides of the stadium. You scan your ticket and then slide through the opening and gate. Inside we got a quick frisk by a gender appropriate officer and then had our bags checked. No one complained about the lines, the frisking, or having to state if they were male or female. Everyone was very cooperative. Somewhere there had to be a gate for individuals in wheelchairs and those who are larger.
The view from our seats was great and the field was in perfect condition.
They did have more food offerings than we found in Scotland. I saw both hotdogs and pizza. I think they had beer as well but you could not drink it in you seats.
You know how the game went. It was great. Hope Solo was flying everywhere and earned her reputation as the best goalie is women’s soccer. It appeared to us that most Brits, Canadians and other Europeans were cheering for Japan.
The U.S. women acknowledged the fans after the win and spent a lot of time on the field. The medal ceremony was nice and the Canadian team came to receive their bronze medals.
Could you hear the warm welcome that FIFA president Sepp Blatter received? He has suggested women soccer players wear more “feminine” clothing, similar to volleyball players, to increase attendance at their games. He enjoyed 80,000 people loudly booing him when he was introduced. He may not have been the best choice to participate in the medal ceremony.
Imagine cars moving slowly out of the parking lot after a professional football or basketball game. Now remove the cars and you will see us and thousands of other people slowing walking shoulder to shoulder to the tube station after the game. The mounted police were out to help with crowd control and monitor how many could enter the tube station at a time. Once again, every one was in a great mood and there was no pushing, shoving or swearing. We stood, packed in, on the tube back into London and then caught our train back to Woking. Amazingly the weather was perfect, no rain, and we did not even need a sweater at midnight. Overall, a great night!