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Syrian Soccer Fan Runs Onto Field to Hug Player Who Supports the Revolution (Video)
As a general rule of thumb, I think it’s best to keep politics out of sports. Politics, after all, is what often divides us. Sports, on the other hand, has the power to unite us. Even if you can’t talk to your dad about who to vote for, you can at least talk to him about baseball.
However, there are some extreme cases where you just cannot keep sports out of politics. During the Cold War, for example, pretty much every Olympic Games had political overtones. And of course, during the Civil Rights movement, pretty much every black athlete was a significant public figure.
Well, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a pretty nasty civil war going on in Syria right now. It began with nationwide demonstrations that were part of the larger “Arab Spring” back in March of 2011. These protests demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad of the Syrian Ba’ath Party and, tragically, the Syrian army was deployed to crush the uprising. This, in turn, led to an armed and unified rebellian against the Syrian government, and today the UN estimates that at least 70,000 people have died in the conflict.
With this kind of stuff going on, there’s no way politics could be kept out of Syrian sports. So it should be no surprise to hear that a politically motivated fan ran out onto the field at an Asian Football Confederation Cup match between Kuwaiti club Al Qadsia and Syrian club Al Shorta this week.
What was interesting, though, was that it was a fan of the visiting club from Syria. He ran up to a member of the Kuwaiti team, a Syrian named Omar Al Soma who happens to be a supporter of the revolution, and placed a pro-opposition banner around his neck. And when two members of the military came out to apprehend the fan, one tackled him, while the other put his arm around him in what looked like a sign of solidarity.
Take a look:
It’s pretty rare to see a fan give a member of the opposing team a hug. And it’s even more rare to see a security guard be nice to a fan who ran out onto the field. But obviously, in this case there were some extenuating circumstances.