Lebanese Politicians on the soccer field

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In light of what we discussed in class today, I thought this may be of interest to you all.

While we discussed soccer in relation to politics of different nations, this shows another interesting sphere of politics and soccer– various rivaling political groups in Lebanon. This talks about a soccer match among political groups in Lebanon. There are no spectators due to risks of violence. It seems to illustrate a “peaceful” soccer match with threats of violence looming above it.

While political implications arise out of the existing World Cup, this friendly soccer match is interesting in that the soccer match was precisely organized because of politics. Sami Gemayel said, “the message is that sports can unite the Lebanese, and this is a very important since politics unfortunately is not uniting them.”

A Hezbollah lawmaker remarked, “I hope that this good sportsmanship will reflect itself on politics as well.”

It is interesting that these lawmakers and politicians see the peaceful soccer match as a potential instrument to hold various factions together despite their political differences.

Do you think that this is perhaps too idealistic?

2 thoughts on “Lebanese Politicians on the soccer field”

  1. I think it’s rather interesting that there were no spectators at the game. They were clearly worried about something happening – à la what we saw in class yesterday Algeria vs. France and the mob that eventually rushed onto the field. I think that it is a very peace-promoting gesture, although a little bit isolated. What I anticipate is when they are able to have the game again, but this time with a packed stadium.

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