Calls for Unity in Iraq After Soccer Win

Hundreds of pages have been ripped from the calendar since Iraqis last showed the unity and happiness that flowed across the land on Sunday.

Calls for Unity in Iraq After Soccer Win

And it would have been foolhardy to predict a soccer team -- the determined Lions of the Two Rivers -- would unleash a flood of joy held back for decades by the dam of Saddam Hussein's tyranny and four-plus years of war since America toppled him.

But after the team's victory in the prestigious 2007 Asian Cup, the Iraqi people seemed far ahead of their leaders in letting sectarian bygones be bygones and allowing ethnic atrocities to fade.

Despite a security crackdown, curfews banning vehicles, and decrees forbidding the penchant in this part of the world to grab an AK-47 and rip off celebratory rounds, people rejoiced in the streets -- and gunfire roared.

It roared across Baghdad at the second-half goal against Saudi Arabia. It was deafening when the underdog Lions sealed the 1-0 victory in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Iraq team's win dripped with symbolism, not least in the makeup of its front-line strikers: one Kurd, one Shiite, one Sunni.


AP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2007, 11:48
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