Syria’s journey to the World Cup: more than a game


Tomorrow Syria will face Australia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications.

Last week, the team managed to draw 1-1 in Malaysia thanks to a late penalty.

The match is more than a game. Is a an odyssey fuelled by hope and pain from a war-torn nation.

Syria’s coach Aymin Al-Hakim said “what we have achieved so far is not only an achievement, but a miracle”.

He also added: “We will push with all our force to continue our journey on the path of achieving our dream.”

Given what the country has to endure, the joy of a football win was needed.

Even in the small borough of Harrow in London, where the game was screened in a shisha lounge, the cheering was louder than usual. Syrians, Arabs, eastern Europeans – they all sided with the Cinderella team.

After the game, TV coverage showed squares full of people in Syria celebrating as if the war was over.

On the other hand, Australia’s midfielder Mark Milligan said : “We’ll hold strong in what we believe and bring our best to the table”.

So while the fight in the streets sees no winner but only victims, the one on the field will conclude tomorrow night in Sydney.


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