FOOTBALL IN BAHRAIN: PROTEST SCARS FELT ON THE PITCH

The Economist August 13, 2011:  Middle East and Africa

Football in Barain

“A HOUSE DIVIDED”, page 45, is the lead for the story.  Next to the title is a picture of a football (soccer in U.S.) player doing a “header”  in a green and white jersey, and a subtitle, “It’s a contact sport.”

“The scars from Bahrain’s protests are still felt on the pitch.”  Pitch is used in many places in the world for field.  I believe it comes from British cricket. (Wikipedia: “In the game of cricket, the cricket pitch consists of the central strip of the cricket field between the wickets.”)

We use “field” in this country for the area of play, but I assume in Great Britain the name “pitch” for field derives from the word used for throwing or pitching the ball.  (Reader, please correct me, if I am wrong.)

The Economist article describes how the team, Al-Ahli, which won Bahrain’s top league title last year, was “one family” despite the players’ different religions: “We never thought about whether we were Sunni or Shia.”  Unfortunately,  the sectarian strife in the streets engulfed the team as the players took sides in the protests:  Two Shia brothers, A’ala and Mohammed Hubail, national stars, were arrested and jailed.  Six other team members were suspended from playing.

“Just as Al-Ahli in its heyday was a microcosm of Bahrain’s integrated society, its woes today reflect the depth of the country’s new divisions.”

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One Response to “FOOTBALL IN BAHRAIN: PROTEST SCARS FELT ON THE PITCH”

  1. Adel A.R. Jamal Says:

    Let’s start playing again! I am looking for hobbyist footballers out to rent Artificial/Astro Grass pitches any day of the week.

    Please contact me 66339644

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