Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

More Than a Cup | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Arab summer is scorching, causing people to sweat profusely until they cannot bear it anymore. During the Arab summer, various events unfolded in different forms from odd political standpoints and economic statements that are comedic, to fatwas that provoke ridicule and the emergence of superficial literary and artistic production that is undeveloped and weak. This is the overall picture that contains the aforementioned elements necessary to explain the current situation.

However, one expression came to mind recently following the eye-catching event that took place recently, namely, the Asian Cup tournament final that was won deservedly by the Iraqi national team after a brilliant performance. The expression is what you see is not necessarily the truth. In other words, while there are sharp sectarian and ethnic differences on the ground in Iraq, the Iraqi football team proved that these could be broken down and that a football manager can unite a disintegrated country under the banner of unity and with wise administration and strength without touching on any sectarian or political differences and this is not the case on the ground in Iraq. I believe that the contract with the Brazilian coach, Vieira, was the best thing that could have happened as he made winning the cup and uniting the country a reality. The football victory in Iraq is a lesson that could teach the fighting spirit in both management schools and sports schools. The team plays outside of its country and the players do not take part in tournaments regularly in their homeland due to internal fighting. The coach was unknown, the budget was limited, and yet after all that, the Iraqi team won. Is it possible to transport this success to the political field? This is the challenge!

The coach did not have any external, superior power to control him and a number of those who represent the team as in the days of Uday Hussein. The coach did not have any external authority to report to; his concern was victory and uniting the team. There are many sayings that the Arabs use to numb the pain such as “For he who strives, there is always result”. Who strives and what is the result? The fact of the matter is the saying should be reformulated to “for every thief there is a result” and “for every person who is corrupt there is a result”! This is the clear reality. Or for example, there is another saying that reads, “There is no right but righteousness”. With regards to the Arab world, this is completely incorrect. What righteousness! It saddens me to see parents trying to raise their children based on these values amid the failing Arab arena, however, victories such as that of the Iraqi team recently give us hope…to some extent.