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Kazem El Saher occupies the Iraqis.. Will he attend the opening of “Gulf 25”?

There are conflicting reports about the Iraqi artist’s participation in the opening of “Gulf 25” (Karim Sahib/AFP)

Iraqis are waiting, whether they are football fans or fans of the artist Kazem Al-saherConfirmation of the presence or absence of the “Caesar of Arab Singing” in the governorate Basrasouth of the country, to revive the championship “Gulf 25”which will be launched next Friday, especially after a series of conflicting news and comments in the last three days.

The governor of Basra, Asaad Al-Eidani, said in a statement to the official Al-Iraqiya channel, “Kazem Al-Saher and Rahma Riyad will open the 25th Gulf Championship ceremony.” After that, he confirmed the presence of Kazem El-Saher via Twitter, but he returned and deleted the tweet less than an hour later, which led to great confusion in Iraqi circles, especially sports.

Then Al-Eidani appeared in a video clip from his office, in which he said, “The presence of the artist, Rahma Riyad Ahmed, is confirmed, but the presence of Caesar Kazem Al-Saher has not been officially decided yet.”

The Iraqi public wondered about the confusion of comments from the official authorities, especially since the confirmations came through Al-Eidani, as well as through the Iraqi Football Association, which announced on Facebook that “the artist Kazem Al-Saher and the artist Rahma Riyad Ahmed will revive the opening ceremony of the 25th edition of the Gulf Championship.” It will be hosted by Basra for the period from 6 to 19 January. But the federation also deleted the post from the page two hours later.

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What added to the ambiguity about Al-Saher’s participation was his appearance in a video statement about “Khaleeji 25”, in which he says: “The Gulf Cup means a lot to me. A wonderful opportunity for brothers and loved ones to meet in the city of love in our beautiful and wonderful vision. A wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy there.” And he continued, “God willing, we will gather in Iraq and Baghdad,” without explaining the fact of his participation in the opening ceremony.

For his part, Abbas al-Askari, a member of the Iraqi Fans Association, said, “The Iraqis are waiting for Kazem al-Saher to come, but the latter may fear security problems, but there are real pledges reached to the tsar regarding his protection and securing his arrival until his departure.”

Al-Askari added to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the Iraqi negotiator, specifically the specialized committees in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the local council in Basra, is weak and does not know the basics of persuasion, so Al-Saher is reluctant to attend.”

He stressed that “Rahma Riyad Ahmed’s position is well known, and she participated in the Babel Festival last year, and she seeks to be present in all forums.”

For his part, sports analyst Yasser Al-Bayati indicated, “Al-Saher’s attendance at the opening ceremony of the Gulf Cup 25 means a lot to this championship, and gives it the spotlight on Arab and foreign coverage, which is what we really need in Iraq.” He continued, “The security situation is good in Basra, and there is nothing that threatens the security of Kazem al-Saher, and we are waiting for a bold decision from him to see in Iraq.”

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