Football fans in Tanji Village in Kombo South Sunday braved heavy rains to watch a local Nawettan semi-final between Sanchaba FC and Bolo Kanta.
The rains started about six hours before the kick-off at 5pm, leaving the village’s only sandy football field waterlogged and leaving the organizers worried about whether fans would show up. But by kick-off, as rain continued, supporters of both teams were already there to cheer up their teams.
“I have no choice other than to stand under the rain to support my team,” said Yaya Jarju, a Bolo Kanta supporter. “The players are playing under the rain. If they can do that, the fans can also brave the rain to support them.”
The fans stood through the match, and cheered and danced as rain poured on them. “It doesn’t matter if we get wet. We’re here to watch a great game and to cheer our team,” said Sarjo Sanno of Ngolo FC. “It’s fun. I won’t allow the rain to spoil it.”
The rain slowly subsided midway into the first half and the waterlogged pitch started to dry up. By then more fans, including Ebrima Jallow started to fill up the field. “I was at home waiting for the rain to stop so I can come to the field. But it doesn’t look like it will stop. So I had to walk on the rain to come and cheer Sanchaba.
“They need us especially in this game. That’s why I’m here.”
As the rain changed again from drizzles to downpour, fans just kept cheering louder and harder. “I am doing this because I want my team to win. I came with my sisters to cheer up our boys,” said Jatou Minteh, a Bolo Kanta supporter.
The game ended in Sanchaba’s favor, beating Bolo 1-0.
Local Nawettan is popular in Tanji where fans are very supportive of their teams and players.