Followers in Qatar’s Schooling Metropolis Stadium held a minute’s silence for the victims Gaza, with spectators chanting for the liberty of Palestine all through the sport.
Iran gained the match 4-1, but the sport was overshadowed by followers’ help for Gaza and the Palestinian trigger [Getty/file photo]
Pleas for peace and sporadic pro-Palestinian demonstrations had been on show in Doha on Sunday because the staff’s opening match of the Asian Cup in opposition to Iran fell on the one centesimal day of the devastating struggle in Gaza.
The 27,619 followers contained in the Schooling Metropolis Stadium paused for a second’s silence for the victims of the struggle, with a solitary shout of “Free Palestine” from one fan slicing by means of the quiet.
Supporters draped in keffiyeh scarves and the crimson, white, inexperienced and black Palestinian nationwide flag clasped shoulders throughout their nationwide anthem.
Exterior the stadium, a principally festive ambiance amongst followers belied anger over the Israel’s struggle within the territory, with a small demonstration of dozens of supporters breaking into chants of “Palestine, Palestine” within the fan-zone.
Israel’s navy onslaught has killed near 24,000 since October 7, with 1000’s extra feared trapped below rubble.
Youssef Nasser Issa, a biomedical engineer from Bethlehem within the occupied West Financial institution, mentioned attending the sport was “the least we will do for our nation”.
“Might God assist us in Gaza and Palestine, and God keen, we will win at present,” mentioned the 28-year-old, clutching a Palestinian flag round his shoulders.
Lana Anshasi, one other Palestinian, informed AFP she was in shock from the day by day scenes of carnage in Gaza.
“I can not deal with what I am watching within the media you possibly can see it is terrifying for the folks in Gaza,” she mentioned.
The 23-year-old, who now lives in Qatar, mentioned she hoped “the world might get up”.
“We should always (have a) ceasefire, and it is not taking place,” she added.
Professional-Palestinian sentiment has led to sporadic and short-lived protests in Qatar the place political demonstrations are uncommon.
Within the first half of the match, which Palestine misplaced 4-1, scores of Iranian supporters led chants of “demise to Israel” in Arabic.
The identical group additionally chanted “Palestine, Palestine”, additionally in Arabic.
Earlier than the sport, Nasser Harandi, 15, from Tehran mentioned he hoped for an Iranian victory in Doha but in addition hoped attending the sport would “assist cease the struggle in Gaza”.
“I am saddened by it deeply,” Harandi mentioned of the struggle.
“However I really feel like coming right here can be serving to the Palestinians increase a voice in opposition to the struggle in Gaza,” he added.
Laith Saleh, a Palestine fan from Ramallah, mentioned his household had been in a “scary state of affairs” with violence and arrests within the West Financial institution.
A minutes silence earlier than Palestine kick off their Asian Cup match in opposition to Iran pic.twitter.com/pXfH6ttQjw
— FC PALESTINA (@fc_palestina) January 14, 2024
“My feeling is that I’m proud to help my nation and I hope that the struggle will cease, however as you possibly can see, we will do nothing,” he added.
However regardless of the mounting toll of the struggle, Palestinian-Jordanian Osama Almwajah mentioned seeing giant numbers of Palestinian followers heading to the sport felt “superb”.
“I do know that regardless of the place I’m going, I can discover one other Palestinian regardless of the place I’m,” the 29-year-old added.
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