tv Business - News Deutsche Welle January 1, 2019 2:15pm-2:31pm CET
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in just a few weeks time the seventeenth asian cup kicks off in the united arab emirates. kenya barcelona went to dubai to check out the team representing the host nation how big is football in the country anyway and what kind of role does it play that. is just the nothing the curious past or is the real question for the sport among the teams who qualified is syria how are the players able to focus on the game with the civil war still raging. we try to bring back normal life with football so says ben stein now a reporter a recruit help to get to the syria coach and his team. big money and political footballs now on kickoff.
so. white and one of the world's richest nations i will meet the syrian national football team perhaps the most controversial team in the world and i will meet their new coach a german. it means. i will meet a sports team but all i can think of us politics it may look like an easy job for every quarter but it's not going to be watching a football match but in the back of my mind will be one of the worst humanitarian crisis for our time the ongoing so young tragedy and its millions of refugees and those guys play football the syrian national football team is a team for twenty three million syrians or a propaganda tool for the country's president bashar assad a men accused of committing war crimes is this his team the dictators team as some have suggested. millions of syrians are refugees because of the civil
war and still there is something called the syrian national football team who do they represent how does it feel to play for so no one speaks about politics because everyone is so focused on that job here. but. can we really separate politics from for kong. it's more it's. a long way for. presidents and the world even. is joining the changing room is success. it's everywhere around the world it looks like the same procedure when political leaders like. me german football champions. sat chance with the syrian squad but the difference is that former players of the syrian national football team are reportedly missing such as
defender jihad for example. syrian regime. program. at play and prison for being on the right or wrong side in kuwait this. syrians prepare for the asian cup they have a new coach. a german like me this new job seems like a very risky adventure because he lives and works in a wartime country run by a dictator if i start to be involved in politics i get lost i cannot do my job and that i have learned from my first appointment in iraq be absolutely focused for your job. already has experience working for authoritarian nations he was the national team coach under the east german regime. he coached iraq during the time of saddam hussein and he coached. and now syria.
i am focused to do my job as a football coach this is my mission and this is my job what other people put in our sport in football if i read all this nonsense that superstars should not shake hands this should not be a world cup in qatar and all this. things to put politics in our sport is not very helpful football is similar to camp it's just a bit of fun and my game with more us money is free of politics the rookie in the team plays football in the netherlands a very open society now he plays for a country cut off from the world wife. syria. so when i come up play for the national team of all and then i will play for the
national team of syria to show the people and to give them back also because my parents also from syria and i want to give something back to the people of course i don't speak arabic as good as the other ones so. it's really difficult and but the only thing i know is when everyone is together here no one speaks about politics because everyone is so focused on their job here and they want to do so good in this team so i don't see no one speaks about politics now. it's like oh yes it's mom and more it's so hard to manage that i just and playing up to you has not to convince only the players because our families are very very close together you have to convince families i have had to give a promise that those boys on my sons and i have to take care for them i have been
a role model because i live in damascus all the time and i i explained there is no no danger to come to damascus the syrian national team's home this for more than seven years this team hasn't played a match at home national teams from other countries are not allowed to visit syria because of the ongoing civil war which created the biggest refugee crisis our time . this team is surprisingly good they have no money no proper training facilities and still they are very successful they're almost qualified for the world cup in russia. the political situation makes life very difficult for everyone in syria not just the football players bashar assad support is a heavy burden. many people say this team is very political because
it's very much linked to one person kind of because nobody should see it live here in the deficit of what it is. with the president but it. would be part of the concerted in the nuance who is going to talk about that then publish the thought that a mother couldn't does belong with a top team syria a team assad what is it. for your money are. often. a symbol of. some sort of.
you from syria yeah in your fan. big fair we've got a very very big area we have to look for a very very very very big big big i mean you want to see. a loss we have a shot of that. project syria and bashar only it's an infamous phrase in support of president bashar assad these guys are fans of the dictator. and they use football and stage for blunt propaganda but. now kuwait versa syria the last warm up game before the asian cup time for the pre-match press conference within the gulf region coup why does regard it as liberal it's a monarchy where only one family rules but journalists who criticize the king can go to prison for up to five years. for me it feels like
a different planet but for my fellow country men she's totally relaxed she's down to deliver us faces we hear from football coaches all over the world we have no reason to answer in the world here which i think we're going to stick to tom ridge . as a fellow journalist and experienced sports reporter for whites public sports channel. was there a discussion within quiet at that the syrian team comes to quite here because the. government always. be good with. years is like a lot of what. other countries they wouldn't invite the syrian national team because of of the politics of the of the obvious no no no sidewards smoltz is the
a long way from home but. so i wonder of politics is always we see. the how not. the left side the right side in the middle. always in the middle as the switzerland of the region but relations where once strain between the countries so there is a political dimension to this football match but no one really wants to talk. white is one of the very few countries in the world to invite syria for a friendly image before kuwait syria played in countries like. canada in china. you have china you have russia you know it's it's not this football family it's a special family and they can be proud to what they have achieved. should have a long long time to serve to be nominated for the nobel. you know
the weight of the. book and you. know the peace prize for fisa. this man has a different opinion. a syrian journalist who fled to turkey in the us at the end and we watched some of the body look at syria series we love bashar we support bashar assad. him so no no no we cannot. i don't think so but it is. it is not this working in it is like one hundred. people so. i thought what of this british and. u.s. national team don't live in syria.