Stadium Rades – Finals And Derbies
The mythical Stade du 7 Novembre has certainly become the symbol of Tunisian football. It lies at the very heart of the country’s game, a heart that beats so strongly in Rades that the stadium is now the base and preferred ground for the national team who play all of their home games here, irrespective of whether they are facing Italy, Namibia, France, Cote d’lvoire, Latvia or Uruguay.
On 8 October 2005, Rades hosted a re-run of the final of the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. The second clash between Tunisia and Nigeria was for a place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Same opponents, different stakes. Ihe perfect setting for a football match. On that breathtaking evening in the middle of Ramadan, Roger Lemerre’s lunisian charges went through the whole range of emotions, from pain and suffering to joy and relief. In the end, fortune favoured the Tunisians and a 2-2 draw was enough for the home team to book dieir place in Germany. Rades quickly became known as the “Mecca of Tunisian football”.
Aside from the Tunisian cup final, the highlight of the coumrys domestic football calendar that is always attended by the head of state, the Stade du 7 Novembre has also been the setting for capital-city derbies between Esperanee Sportive de lunis and Club Africain as well as for crucial top-flight matches such as Lsperance v. Htoile du Sahel, Club Africain v. CS Sfaxien. Esperance v. CS Sfaxien and Club Africain v. Stade Tunisien.
The stadium’s design certainly lends itself to a boisterous, festive atmosphere. The spectacle and the noise in the twin tiers help to create a colourful, vivid backdrop that would be worthy of some of European football’s greatest clashes such as Barcelona v. Real Madrid or Roma v. Lazio.
Yer Rades has also been the scene of some of the biggest disappointments in Tunisian football too, most notably when Club Sporcif Sfaxien narrowh – lost to Al Ahly in the final of the GAP Champions League on 11 November 2006.
One thing is for sure, however, and that is that this young stadium already has a history and a legend all of its own. Rades’ Srade du 7 Novembre is well on its way towards emulating celebrated arenas on the other side of the Mediterranean by playing its part in football’s long and glorious history.