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Assad fans vent over Syria at Qatar soccer match
2012年11月8日 / 下午4点48分 / 5 年前

Assad fans vent over Syria at Qatar soccer match

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria blames the state of Qatar for arming rebels bent on overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad. Qatar has accused Assad of genocide. On Thursday afternoon, the two countries battled it out on the soccer field.

Police officers arrest a Syrian soccer fan who invaded the field during their AFC Under-19 soccer match against Qatar in Fujairah, north of United Arab Emirates, November 8, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

“Our souls, our blood, we sacrifice them for Bashar,” the Syrian fans screamed, waving their national flag, as the under-19s played in the United Arab Emirates in an Asian Football Confederation tournament.

Twitter was ablaze with politicized messages on the game from a group of pro-Assad social media enthusiasts.

“Doesn’t matter who wins a football game, at the end #Syria is kicking #Qatar’s mercenaries asses everyday,” said a Twitter user whose tag is @ProSyriana.

The game was broadcast live on Syrian state television, though the commentators steered clear of politics.

Peaceful pro-democracy protests hit Syria’s streets in March 2011 but were met with live ammunition. Nineteen months later, Assad is fighting a civil war against a majority-Sunni Muslim opposition. Assad is an Alawite, a sect that is an offshoot of Shi‘ite Islam.

Damascus said from the beginning that the uprising was a foreign-backed conspiracy and ever since, Assad supporters have directed vitriol at Sunni states Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“#Qatar players (are) falling down like #FSA scum,” said @Syriancommando, a prominent online activist, referring to the Free Syrian Army, a group of Syria army defectors who joined rebel fighters.

In the end, after a Syrian red card and a couple yellows, Qatar won 2-1 but fell out of the tournament on points, while Syria stayed in.

“#Qatar u may have won the battle but u didn’t win the war. #Syria goes on to play next game, Qatar is out. We’ll win the real war too.” said @Partisangirl, a Syrian YouTube commentator.

Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Tom Perry and Paul Casciato

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