Football qualifier pits Jordan against Syria

August 15, 2013

JORDAN V. SYRIA: Just hours before Jordan and Syria’s national football teams square off at an Asian Cup qualifier in Tehran, Tariq Mohammed Hamsho, 28, a former goalkeeper with the Daraa club, tells Nuha Shaban why he is supporting the Jordanian team.

Hamsho spoke from his home inside the Zatari camp in Jordan, where he now teaches soccer to refugee children inside the camp, now Jordan’s fourth-largest city.

The players on Syria’s national team “are regime mercenaries who have sold out,” Hamsho says. The match was to be held in Syria but moved to Tehran because of the lack of security in Syria now, according to al-Jazeera Sport website.

“The regime chose Iran for the match, because it knows it will have audience there,” says Oqba al-Jibawi, 22, a former law student at Damascus university who has been living in Jordan for the past year.

The Asia Cup will be held in Australia 2015.

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