Jan 17 : Saudi Arabia v Japan

Perhaps everyone here at the Asian Cup suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Yesterday was so sunny and everyone was so friendly and in high spirits.

Today everyone turned up at the stadium grumpy. There was no nice light, there were no blue skies. Everyone was wrapped up to protect themselves from the elements. Today was a day of rain.

Saudi Arabia were so good some years ago that you would have placed an outside bet on them reaching the final of a World Cup if they progressed and carried on playing like they were. In 2011 they are a shadow of their former self.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

The stadium was basically empty.

Well 2,000 turned up but I think the organisers included the TV cameramen on the attendance count.

The skies were gray. It was like being back in Manchester. Then the rain came. It wasn’t even nice rain to photograph in.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

Yes there is nice rain which sparkles in the floodlights and when frozen adds an amazing atmosphere to a picture.

But not today.

Japan were 3-0 up by half time.

Saudi stopped playing.

Down came the rain.

It was nice to be wet after being in the sunshine for so long but it was windy.

A cold wind.

Not a refreshing wind.

The nice photo marshalls gave out bin liners.

My favorite pictures from the day being photographers protecting themselves from the elements.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

I just stuck it out in my hooded top. It was nice to have wet hair.

On the way home I was the only passenger on the bus. All the Asian photographers remained in the stadium to send their pictures. My clients had no urgent need so I headed back.

However the bus broke down so I got off and walked 1km back to the hotel. I enjoyed the walk and dropped off my gear in my room and went back outside to explore. I found a little shopping centre that I had no idea that was there.

The I saw a KFC full of Filipinos munching on the Colonel’s finest. For a moment I forgot that I was in Qatar.

I felt better after the walk and other photographers perked up on Skype as I edited my days work. Koo emailed and thanked me for some pictures and said she would see me tomorrow. Two Japanese talked about their next game against the hosts Qatar.

Too much analysis makes the brain fry, but today was some how bizarre on how we were ALL grumpy then perked up in the evening!

Today was a game to forget. I looked at my shoot and could hardly remember the game. Looking at the pictures, I had done an OK job, but the torture I endured to get them was not fun today. Today was back to work Monday Blues.

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