Asphalt, sand, very strict standards, restrictions and the preview of the supercopa classic in Riyad: What party?

Between Madrid and Riad there are 4,961,26 kilometers, a whole world. Two capitals that if they were looking at a mirror would be stunned, amazed by their dif

Asphalt, sand, very strict standards, restrictions and the preview of the supercopa classic in Riyad: What party?

Between Madrid and Riad there are 4,961,26 kilometers, a whole world. Two capitals that if they were looking at a mirror would be stunned, amazed by their differences. "I come from a city that was about built water, and whose walls of fire are," says González de Clavijo, Ambassador of King Castellano Enrique III, Emperor Tamerlán, one of the largest conquerors of Central Asia. He referred to Manzanares and how the sun focused the old wall. It was the fifteenth century, but the phrase would fall with the same surprise at the center of the current Saudi Arabia, built on the sand of the desert, with its summer heat in winter, its great avenues without just sidewalks, its chaos well remote controlled, its distances Eternal between points ... and his supercopy of Spain 2022.

- I need connection on my phone for the game, do you sell a data card?

- What a match?

- Barcelona-Real Madrid tomorrow.

- Tomorrow play Barcelona and Real Madrid here?

The conversation between the Spanish journalists and the Saudi clerk is on Tuesday morning. 34 hours before the classic parrot of Soccer Patrio. But in the center of Riad, life goes by too slowly as to accelerate the view the next day. At the moment.

Spanish football traveled on Monday night to the capital of Saudi Arabia, moved away from its local viewers and embarked on a colonizing adventure that pretend to serve as a source of income and sport expansion, trying to imitate what soccer has already done Italian or what other competitions such as NBA and NFL repeat. Rumors and conversations make it understand that there is Spanish football, and for a while, in this area of the world.

On the flight of Iberia chartered by the Spanish Federation, as comfortable and safe for transfers of this type, Luis Rubiales, president of the organization, his assistants, the arbitrators, members of the RFEF, sponsors and journalists, were seated. Received almost like Rock stars upon arrival in Riad, pink gift included.

The charter landed between the Barcelona plane and the Real Madrid, so the passport control, made by the area of private flights, was slow but less inopportune than any other Monday at the King Khalid International Airport. Of course, the full vaccination letter and the negative PCR are mandatory to step on Saudi soil.

The rest of the rules will sound like: penalty of death and flagellation as punishments at certain acts. Homosexuality is a crime of maximum area in the area, extramarital relations are prohibited, the tenure or distribution of pornography is punished with jail and drug trafficking with beheading, and its use and consumption is punishable with public flogging or Deportation.

Alcohol consumption is prohibited, with jail and flagellation sentences, men are forbidden to wear shorts or bermudas above their knees, people of different sex are not allowed to be in public or private unless there is A family bond between them ... and on the subject of women, after the publication of several real decrees, on August 2, the man's authorization requirement was eliminated and obtain a passport from any Saudi woman.

Back to the airport. At the exit, asphalt, a lot asphalt, the eternal asphalt that covers a city on which luxurious skyscrapers and where the neighborhoods, that characteristic European neighborhood, are barely. Between the hotel in the press and King Fahd Stadium there are 18 kilometers, the same as from the Hilton hotel, where Madrid is lodged. 27 kilometers to El Narcissus Hotel, in which is Barcelona, 29 to the Burj Rafal del Atlético de Madrid ...

The distances in the Saudi capital are eternal and can only be completed by car, unless you are interested in performing a marathon. Perhaps by that, and by the strict policy of restrictions, the situation of the Covid-19 is controlled to think about the increase in contagion. In the last 24 hours, only one person has died and 4,700 new cases have been given, the mask is also obligatory outdoors and to enter most of the stores it is necessary to teach a government authorization through the Tawakkalna application, where the Resident or visitor should indicate your vaccination records.

Closer to the start of the press and workouts of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the teams that open this Wednesday supercopy, televisions and local media begin to heat the environment. Even the driver of one of the taxis dares to chapurre the Spanish: "Madrid, good!" In one hour, Saudi fans have exhausted the 30,000 tickets put on sale for the classic, 50% of the stadium's capacity, but on the street the atmosphere was still quite dry, like time.

At the doors of the hotels of Madrid and Barça, some followers have been crowred, but timidly and without creating the expected atmosphere of classic. All interrupted, yes, because of the call to prayer in Islam, the 'Azan', which depends on the city can be done once or several times a day. In the West, this proclamation is made within the mosques, but in the Arab countries it can be heard throughout the city.

As of this Wednesday, football will begin, finally: Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club A for the first title of the Spanish season ... in Arabia.

Updated Date: 11 January 2022, 21:47

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