Arab World Cup teams, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco, were eliminated from the largest football championship, that is held in Russia this time, early.
There is only Tunisia left. We hope it will be the exception and resume the journey. But the echoes of this bitter harvest at one of the most important sports events has been heard by the people and fans of these countries. The shameful results became a ball of fire that everyone is tossing.
There are also, of course, those who have the premeditated aim to target others in sports-related matters or anything else, regardless of whether the Egyptian and Saudi teams won or lost. This is not our topic today but the topic is the blame, which dominated the scene following the “disappointment” in Russia.
There is only Tunisia left. We hope it will be the exception and resume the journey. But the echoes of this bitter harvest at one of the most important sports events has been heard by the people and fans of these countriesMashari Althaydi
For example, I am talking about the Egyptian case here as it’s not clear yet who is responsible for what happened with the Saudi team, although it’s unjust to evaluate one comprehensive management and sports efforts that extend over a period of time via the result of one championship, even if it’s the World Cup.
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In Egypt, actors and media figures who accompanied the Egyptian team to Russia were harshly criticized and accused of being the reason behind the team’s loss because they distracted the players with videos and selfies. Is this true?
We do not know for sure, but this accusation angered Egyptian actor Sherif Mounir who said in a video posted on Wednesday on his page on a social network that actors and actresses were greatly insulted by what happened.
“It’s disgraceful to (call us) dancers and drummers. Our art and work is a source of pleasure for everyone and we do not deserve to be called these names,” he said.
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Mounir added: “The artists were invited to travel to Russia and support the team’s players. They were given residence invitations and ticket airplanes, and anyone in their place would have accepted the invitation.”
“(We) did not play the game instead of the players and did not participate in setting the plan which led to the defeat,” he said, adding: “We did not receive any “tax” money, as many have said.”
“Some prayed that the airplane transporting us from Russia crashes. Would they have (praised us) if the team had won?” he asked.
Perhaps Mounir was defending his colleagues, but let’s ask this question: Is it realistic to limit the problem in a scene like this or is this a defective simplification? The more important question is: Where is the defect that leads to the successive Arab disappointments at the most important football event in the world?
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.