27 November, 2010

Gulf Cup 20 snippets

Yemen's Al Nono with the ball
I quote from previous post: Yemen has never won the Gulf Cup; or even come close to winning it. Can it do it now? Can it win the Gulf Cup? We shall know soon. We now know: very unfortunately and sadly, we have not done it. We have been thrashed mercilessly by Saudi Arabia 4 to 0; and then Qatar beat us 2 to 1. Still, football fever is on.  In hadhramout, football is loved. Especially by the young. Of all sporting activities, soccer is the most loved, most played and most watched here. The lack of proper soccer playing facilities; the heat and the ruggedness of the fields have not deterred the many children and young men from soccer. A few excerpts on what is being said about Gulf Cup20:
BAHRAIN's hopes of winning their first-ever Gulf Cup were dealt a blow following a 2-3 defeat to Iraq in Group 'B' at 22 May Stadium in Aden, Yemen, last night. Gulf Daily News
Majed Naser, the UAE goalkeeper, had another outstanding game last night to maintain his side's unbeaten record at Gulf Cup in Yemen and keep them in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. The National
Defending champions Oman were held to a goalless draw by UAE in the second round of the ongoing Gulf Cup in Yemen yesterday. Sport360
UAE held defending champions Oman to a goalless draw in the second round of the 20th Gulf Cup at the 22nd May Stadium in Aden, Yemen on Friday. Khaleej Times
In scenes that made Western security experts wince, fans crowded up and down gangways, sat and stood and danced on the stadium's outer rim and filled every space available.

The women, wrapped in black abayas, were easily the noisiest, cheering wildly and waving the national red, black and white flags of Yemen deliriously.

A few rows down from me was a boisterous Saudi fan surrounded by Yemenis.

From time to time he broke into exuberant song, waving his green-and-white Saudi flag.

Each time his team scored, he jumped up and started dancing and yelling in glee.

His celebrations would have struck most British observers as provocative. I could not help cringing.

If he was not careful, I thought, this triumphalist Saudi would end up being lynched by insulted home fans.

In England, he would not have lasted long. But then in England he would not have been standing with rival fans in the first place.

The Yemenis, however, saluted him and joined in with his songs. The atmosphere was electric, the joy infectious. The BBC
Who will win the cup this time? The Omanis again? Or the Saudis? Iraq could do it? Come the 5th of next month, and we shall know. While waiting, follow results in Arabic: here and in English: here.