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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Book of the Month – When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone by James Montague – Chapter Three - Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the World Cup

    The World Cup in Germany, to outsiders a peaceful, well-orchestrated, celebration of the game. To those on the ground however, especially those following the fortunes of the two Middle Eastern teams – Iran and Saudi Arabia, things did not go as smoothly as the invested would have you believe.

    A controversial president, whose declamatory assertions did not go over well in a country whose dark history with Judaism – though healing, rests uneasily. Protests and whispers, sightings and chance meetings, security guards rendered uneasy with jest, whisking away their package in haste.

    The Saudis proved as elusive, a popular flag, though support seemed difficult to find. Bible-thumpers skillfully turned away.

    It was a disappointing tournament as both sides failed to qualify for the second round. But with high aspirations – and alert – often come harsh – if peaceful – let downs.

    

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