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Thai Abed drove Iraqi football crazy: "Go back to your roots" - Voila! sport

2023-03-27T08:07:05.927Z


The midfielder of the youth team, who has Iraqi roots, shone against Serbia, attracted surprising attention and even raised hopes that he would represent the Iraqi national team. "I wish we had peace between us," he said to Walla!


Summary: Morocco - Brazil 1:2 (Friendly) (Sport1)

The victory of the Israel under-19 national team 1:3 over Serbia in the second stage of the Euro qualifiers last Saturday made waves - and not only in our districts or throughout Europe.

The one who starred in the game with a duo is Thai Abed, a player of PSV Eindhoven's youth team.

With a pair and an excellent game, the young midfielder managed to arouse hype among football fans precisely in one country in the Middle East - Iraq.



Abed, who has Iraqi roots on his grandparents' side, instantly became the talk of the day among Iraqi fans and journalists.

"The star with Iraqi roots Tai Abed may meet our youth team in the upcoming World Cup" - these are the words that the Iraqi journalist Muhammad Kanani wrote, next to a photo of Abed, to win thousands of likes, hundreds of comments, comments and questions from curious Iraqi soccer fans.

A surfer by the name of Hussein al-Araki wrote in response: "It is a well-known fact that there are players in the national teams of the 'Zionist entity' who are of Iraqi origin, considering that Jews lived in Iraq and immigrated in the 1940s and 1950s to the Land of Palestine, and it is known that there are places there whose streets are called by Iraqi names such as the 'Iraqi market', 'Iraqi Alley' or 'Iraqi Neighborhood'. The Iraqis who live there remember their family, the people and neighbors they had in Iraq, and they speak with a burning heart and tears, because the source is Iraqi, and there are many video clips on this matter."



Despite this, he continued to write: "I, like many others, am not interested in meeting the Zionist entity in the World Cup. The worst situation would be to withdraw from the game against them in the event that Israel is at home with us, because playing with them is recognition of their entity usurping the land of Palestine."



A surfer named Raed Farhan wrote: "May he succeed, God willing."

Others added: "May our God give him strength!", "Go back to your roots!", "May it not happen like with Bassam Rawi [Qatar national team player] that other countries enjoy our players!", "Obviously he is a star, it is because he is Iraqi."

In other posts in Facebook groups of fans of the Iraq national team they joked: "Iraq helps and gives talents to the whole world, but who will help Iraq?"

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Thai Abed (Photo: Reuters)

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So even though Iraq does not recognize Israel, and even though only in the last few days it was reported that the country appealed to FIFA with a request not to be drawn against Israel in the Youth World Cup that is supposed to be played in Indonesia in May (and now it is not at all clear what will happen to the tournament, after the Indonesian confederation announced the cancellation of the draw that was is supposed to be held this Friday, in view of the protests and political tensions between the latter and Iraq and Israel), suddenly Tai Abed becomes an unexpected bridge for rapprochement between Israel and Iraq. When it comes to soccer



and players of Iraqi origin, the Iraqis are crazy. Due to the civil war and the millions of refugees who have left the country in the last decade and a half, The Iraqis do a lot of active scouting abroad and are looking for young footballers of Iraqi origin.

In the past, one of the top scouting agencies in the country tried to check whether Eran Zahavi has Iraqi roots, when the latter played in China and did not represent the Israeli national team (after the incident of throwing the captain's armband).



"We locate players with Iraqi roots all over the world and follow them," he told Walla Sport!

Ali, an Iraqi scout who preferred not to be interviewed by his full name to an Israeli media outlet.

"This is how we rebuilt our national team. It was a private initiative of a number of fans and this is how we managed to attract players who grew up in European football, to represent Iraq. Some of them are even world famous such as Zidane Iqbal from Manchester United, whose services both Pakistan and England were interested in."



"You have a large and significant Iraqi community and we know that. So it's true with players from this community it's more complicated because of politics, but we have to be on the lookout for any player who might be available to play for Iraq."

Ali said: "He has a very Iraqi last name, and as soon as we saw this name in the lineups at the U19 European Championship, we realized that most likely he has Iraqi roots. Since he signed with PSV U18, we have been trying to follow his games. He is obviously not relevant for us because he represents your country at the moment, but you never know what will happen in the future, and he is very talented."

He was also in the sights of Iraqi football.

Eran Zahavi (Photo: Ariel Shalom)

The player himself was surprised by the initial hype developing around him, and said in response to the Iraqi fans: "I thank you for the support, but it is important for me to make it clear that I am a Jewish player and play for the Israeli national team. I hope that one day we will have peace between us and the Iraqi people, where my grandparents were born. I wish the national team Good luck to you and hope to meet you at the Mondialeto!", he told the writer of these lines.



As mentioned, there are no relations between Israel and Iraq, and in the shared history of the two countries and the Jewish people, there is quite a bit of hostility.

From the Farhud riots held by Iraqi Jews in the 1940s, through the refusal of the Iraqi Al Shorta (Police) team to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final of the Asian Champions League in 1971, which gave the Yellows the title for the second time, to Saddam Hussein and his ambitions to bomb Israel in the Gulf War, football provides Certain islands of proximity.



So it is true, the official position of Iraq as a country does not allow a game against the Israeli national team, but when there is a talented Israeli player of Iraqi descent, and another one who has not yet appeared in the senior national team, he immediately generates interest, and perhaps also some kind of hidden yearning, for other times when being Iraqi did not mean Necessarily being against Jews but the opposite, when Jews were an integral part of the Iraqi people.

  • sport

  • Israeli soccer

  • Israel national teams

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  • Thai worked

  • The youth team

Source: walla

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