Guatemalan football teams might not make much of an impression on the international stage, but that doesn’t stop the fans giving them passionate support at home.
The top division consists of 12 teams, dotted around the country. Most visitors to Guatemala will have the best chance of watching an Antigua GFC game in the popular colonial town of Antigua, or heading to see Comunicaciones or Municipal play in Guatemala City. If you find yourself in the northern city of Quetzaltenango you could watch a Xelajú MC game, but otherwise the teams play away from the tourist trail.
Antigua is arguably the most atmospheric game to watch, thanks to a small stadium and crazy fans. Game day sees the whole town turn out in the green and white strips of their heroes as people make their way to the stadium in Jocotenango.
You can buy tickets from many of the hostels in town, but you’re better off going direct to the ground to save money. Get down their early to get a ticket, soak up the atmosphere, and have a few beers before you go into the ground.
There are lots of food stalls in Jocotenango on match day, and local shops selling drinks to a rowdy crowd. It’s a largely friendly affair, with travellers treated as a curiosity by the locals.
On the whole you won’t have to worry about crowd trouble, with the possible exception of when Comunicaciones or Municipal come to town. The local rivals sometimes bring small groups of hooligans with them, and there has been some trouble in the past.
That said, the whole experience is otherwise very friendly. Most of the ground is taken up by home fans, with very few away fans able to make the trip. There is a festive atmosphere and although the standard of football isn’t very high, it’s certainly an entertaining day out.