A football experience fit for champions

Pictured is Ameerah and Sayed Ismail at Heathrow airport.

Ameerah and Sayed Ismail entered a promotional competition run by a potato chip brand after buying three packets of their favourite flavour.

The trip included two tickets to the match between Juventus and Real Madrid at the National Stadium of Wales.

The Ismails said they had bought one packet of Lightly Salted Lays chips, which is the only flavour they buy.

When they gave their son the packet, he noticed the competition as the packaging was different and they entered the competition.

Mr Ismail said they then bought two more packets and entered the competition again.

He said when the company phoned him he was reluctant to answer because the number started with 011 and he thought it would be an insurance company calling.

“After three calls I finally answered the phone and the lady asked if I had bought a packet of Lays chips recently, I said yes and she asked if I had a valid passport and I said yes. She then asked if my wife also has one and I said yes. She then told me to fax it to her as soon as possible,” he said.

However, the couple could not find Ms Ismail’s passport.

“We searched the entire house, I fetched her from work and said that we need to find the passport but we couldn’t,” said Mr Ismail.

After searching for a whole day they finally found Ms Ismail’s passport in a box in the bedroom and emailed it to the company the following Monday.

Two weeks’ later, they received a call to explain where they needed to apply for their visas but they hit another roadblock as they were told that their visas would not be ready in time.

“I told my wife maybe it’s better that we just stay at home. We called the company and told them that we would not get our visas in time and they said that we should apply for a priority visa but that was R4 500 each and because we are walk-ins it was another R750 each, and we didn’t have that money,” he said.

He said the company then decided to cover all their expense and four days later, on Thursday June 1, they were off to Wales, returning on Monday June 5.

Mr Ismail said that what they enjoyed most about the trip was how helpful and friendly the people were. He said that despite everyone telling them how expensive things would be, he found it quite cheap.

“We thought we wouldn’t be able to shop for kids but we did. Everything was so cheap, we bought 10 pairs of socks for R18. I left with 13kg luggage and came back with 24kg. Everyone was so nice to us and everything was so cheap but good quality stuff,” he said.

Ms Ismail said that she was amazed by how free everyone was and they could walk around late at night.

“It was so warm and everyone told us to pack winter clothes so while everyone had shorts on we had winter clothes on. The women are so free there, they don’t have to worry about their safety. On the day of the game it was so crowded but no one complained we all just enjoyed ourselves. Even when people knocked into each other no one got upset, not like here in Cape Town,” she said.

The couple said they were thankful for winning the competition and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.