Unity Of Iraq’s Soccer Team Should Serve As An Example To It’s Political Leaders…
July 30, 2007
In an inspirational win over the Saudi Arabian soccer team, the Iraqi national team won the 2007 Asian Cup, with a score of 1-0. The team, consisting of Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish players proved to their fellow Iraqi’s and to the world, that by being able to put aside their ethnic differences and work together towards a common goal, that anything, including victory is possible. The team has not been without tragedy, when terrorists attacked scores of innocent people who were celebrating the teams’ victory over South Korea. The team honored those who were killed in the bomb blast by wearing black armbands in the post-match news conference.
“It’s very clear, from our arms, our respect to the people who died when we put Korea out of the competition,” said coach Jorvan Vieira. “This victory we offer to the families of those people.”
Vieira’s plans are to leave his post immediately after this match. He will be leaving with fond memories of his team and the Iraqi nation.
“I have worked my best to bring a warm smile to their lips and my mission is accomplished,” Vieira said. “The satisfaction is doubled when you can get this cup and you bring happiness for a country, not just a team. It’s more important than anything. Iraqi people, Iraqi players are fantastic people. They are the type of people who have fantastic power within themselves. I learnt a lot with these boys… and I will keep it forever in my life.”
UN ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s former envoy in Iraq, urged Iraq’s political leaders to use the unity displayed by the Iraqi soccer team, as an example of what can be accomplished in their country, if they put aside ethnic differences. The team didn’t allow their differences to tear them apart, but instead cast those differences aside, and worked together… united as one, to reach their common goal, the 2007 Asian Cup championship.
“I want to congratulate Iraqis, the soccer team for a great victory that they had today,” said Khalilzad. “They were truly united, unlike the government and the political process, where the unity that exists is very much hedged,” he added.
The Iraqi government and the Iraqi people now have the golden opportunity, to learn from the example set for them and for their Country, and come together, not as Sunni’s, Shiite’s or Kurds, but as Iraqi’s to take control of their own destiny and work together to build a strong, free and secure Iraq. Let’s hope that they do indeed learn from this fine example and work harder to resolve their differences, for the betterment of their entire Country. This Iraqi policeman, perhaps says it best…
“Those heroes have shown the real Iraq. They have done something useful for the people as opposed to the politicians and lawmakers,” said Sabah Shaiyal, a 43 year old policemen in the Sadr City district of Baghdad. “The players have made us proud. Once again our national team has shown that there is only one, united Iraq.”