08 October 2015
A brutal civil war, bombed-out towns and hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing in terror.
It’s against that backdrop that Syria has been bidding to reach the World Cup for the first time in its history.
After three consecutive wins over Afghanistan, Singapore and Cambodia, the war-torn nation was beaten 3-0 by Asian powerhouse Japan Thursday.
Normally Syria would play its matches in Aleppo, a city which has had “the life bombed out of it.” Instead, this game was staged 3,000 kilometers away in the Omani city of Seeb.
The defeat meant Syria lost top spot in Group E of the Asian qualifying section.
… According to James Dorsey, the author of the “Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer”, Assad uses the soccer team to give the regime “a degree of prestige.”
He told The Guardian it shows “a sense of normality amid the mayhem.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 09/10/2015