Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Syrian soccer team debacle

It appears as if certain political factions are trying to keep the Syrian national soccer team from attempting to qualify for the next world-wide competition. This is wrong. So far, FIFA, the ruling body, to their credit, has resisted. This is right.

We all know Syria has been embroiled in a civil war over the last few years. The casualty toll has been enormous.

But this is a soccer team. Why should they get caught up in political wrangling? It's not like the players are moonlighting as either government troops or "rebels". They train and practice like every other soccer team.

True, individual players might well feel loyalties to one faction or another. After all, they're human and entitled to such, much like any other citizen in any other country. But as long as they're not active participants in the mayhem -- why should they be denied the opportunity to compete?

Some Syrian players have said they don't wish to compete, as long as the strife continues. That is also their right, regardless of which side, if any, they would rather see prevail.

Yet for those that do, it is colossally unfair for the politicos of OTHER nations to attempt to bar them from the chance.

Again, they're just soccer players, trying to do their best on the "pitch" against whatever competition from whatever other country they may face.

So let them do it. They've worked their entire young lives to become the best futbollers in their country. They should be rewarded -- not punished because other factions are at each other's throats.

Other than the usual power-hungry politicians screwing up and sacrificing the lives of so many innocents -- what's the problem?

Play on.

Let's hope FIFA sticks to their guns -- certainly no pun intended.

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