Palestine deserve a chance at peace, says Hussain

Pakistan player and coach recall visit to Nablus for football event.

Natasha Raheel July 13, 2014

KARACHI: Pakistan national football player Saddam Hussain and assistant coach Hasan Baloch expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian football team and reminisced their time in Nablus, where Pakistan played the Peace Cup in May this year.

This was the national side’s second tour to Palestine for the Peace Cup.

Hussain, who was a part of the squad both times, said that witnessing the dismal state of Palestine has given the sports community a heavy heart for their friends in the Middle East.

“As a footballer, I feel for these players because they deserve better,” Hussain told The Express Tribune.

“I spoke to my Palestinian friend Mustapha two weeks ago and he told me that so far he is safe; but it’s not fair.

“These people deserve a chance at peace because they are very friendly and condemn violence. They were amazing hosts to us.

“Mustapha even filled the spot as our doctor since our Pakistani team physician was not given clearance to travel with us. We have forged a strong bond with him.”

Hussain added that the craze for football in Palestine is inspiring as many spectators would turn up to see the matches even during a regional tournament.

“Palestinians came with their families to watch the matches. And to have such enthusiastic spectators is very heartening for any team.”

Meanwhile, Baloch said Palestinians are friendly people and they just wanted to live in peace.

“Football has a great impact on the Palestinians,” said Baloch. “I just praise them for actually holding a Peace Cup every year despite the situation. These people want to live normally.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2014.

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