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Author Topic: The game of the world does it again
Wilf Day
Babbler # 3276

posted 09 June 2005 11:06 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The game of the world does it again:
-- Thanks to his right foot, Abbas Suan may just be the most popular Arab in Israel.

When the wiry 29-year-old fired a low shot past Ireland's goalkeeper with just minutes to play to tie a World Cup qualifying match at 1-1 in March, he brought the country to its feet and gave life to Israel's improbable drive to qualify for soccer's top tournament.

Just four days after the Ireland match, Israel managed another 1-1 tie, this time against the powerhouse French team. Walid Badier, another of the national team's trio of Arabs, scored the lone Israeli goal.

Saturday, Israel dramatically rallied from a 2-0 disadvantage to earn a draw in its rematch against Ireland, with Mr. Suan setting up the play that led to a penalty kick and the tying goal. Israel now sits tied with France atop its division in the qualifying tournament, and stands a good chance of making it to next year's World Cup for the first time since 1970.

Even before he shot to national stardom, Mr. Suan was a hero to Israeli Arabs for his role as captain of Bnei Sakhnin, which last year became the first predominantly Arab team to win Israel's State Cup, despite having a budget a quarter the size of some other teams.

Soccer ("football" to most of the world) is well known as the only thing that brings both communities in Northern Ireland together. Now it's doing it again in Israel. My late father-in-law, Harry Cavan, would not be surprised.

(I posted this in culture, sport being a cultural phenomenon, not in politics. Football is well above politics. )

From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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