The name of the Saudi player, Nawaf Al-Tmyat, topped the social media platforms in a number of Arab countries after an exhibition match that was held in conjunction with the conclusion of the Arab Cup between “Legends of the Arabs” and “Legends of the World” in Qatar.
During the match, which was held at Al Thumama Stadium, the two teams wore white and blue shirts imprinted with the flags of all FIFA member countries, including Israel.
The Arab Legends team included Ali Al-Habsi, Imad Al-Hosani, Fahd Al-Kubaisi, Sami Al-Jaber, Nawaf Al-Tmyat, Wael Jumaa, Hussein Kharja, Mahdi Fekia, Younis Mahmoud, Firas Al-Khatib, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Thani (President of the Qatar Football Association) ), and the journalist Mohamed Saadounal Al-Kuwari.
As for the world legends team, it included Juan Angel, Cafu, Tim Cahill, Marcel Desaillier, Yuri Djorkaeff, Luis Hernandez, Christian Karembeu, Javier Mascherano, Lothar Matthaus, Nuno Gomes, Andrea Pirlo, Yaya Toure, and Gianni Infantino (FIFA President). , Amadou Samoura, Pascal Zuberbühler.
Activists circulated pictures of the former Saudi football star wearing a shirt in which the Israeli flag appears obliterated, which caused controversy on social media between supporters and opponents.
A number of tweeters welcomed the step, which they considered to have implications, the first of which is the non-recognition of Israel, they said.
According to social networking sites, the Saudi player was not the only one who obliterated the Israeli flag, as others transmitted pictures of the Omani player Imad Al Hosani and other Arab players, saying that they had taken the same step.
Others considered that obliterating the flag was not enough, saying that the players should have apologized for not participating.
Al-Timyat and Al-Hawasni’s move came after three Algerian players withdrew from the symbolic match in protest against the presence of Israeli coach Avram Grant.
The Algerian trio, Rabah Madjer, Rafik Saifi and Rafik Halliche, decided to withdraw from participation due to Grant’s presence as coach of the rival “Legends of El” team.
Others criticized the Saudi player, Sami Al-Jaber, who did not do anything, according to the followers.
On the other hand, bloggers rejected what the Arab players did, saying that Israel is a recognized country even in Qatar, they said.
They expressed their rejection of mixing sports and politics, and demanded respect for the desire of the peoples of the world.
The newspaper “Times of Israel” reported that a Saudi player appeared to obliterate the flag of Israel from his official shirt, in which he participated in the exhibition match in the State of Qatar.
The Israeli newspaper said that the “FIFA” website avoided referring to the Saudi player’s move or to Algerian players boycotting the match.
For his part, Israeli Youssef Haddad said: “During the weekend, a football match was held in Qatar between a team of world legends led by Avraham Grant and former stars from Arab countries.”
He added, “The Arab team missed 3 players because of Grant and others who deleted the Israeli flag from the shirt.”
And he concluded, saying: “Boycott and omit, but do not forget that in a year and a half, 4 Arab countries signed a peace agreement with Israel.”
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