We are all used to hearing of soccer fans causes lots of damage in neighborhoods near soccer stadiums or city centers after a disappointing result or because of excessive alcohol consumption. However, this is the first time in my life that I have heard of a soccer player shot dead during a game.

It happened in Iraq just a couple of days ago. In a game between local rivals Sinjar and Buhayra, and as Haider Kadhim was facing the goalkeeper and about to equalize the game, a fan thought it proper to take out his gun and shoot the player on the head. As you can probably guess, the shot hit the unfortunate Haider in the head and eventually killed him. The fan is in custody but this won’t bring Haider back.

The people of Iraq have been through much pain and sorrow in the last few decades. Wars against Iran, Kuwait, and the USA and years of rule by a ruthless dictator have left the country in shambles. The people are edgy and well armed. Law and order exists on paper but that’s about it. Chaos and the law of each man dominates a country that so desperately needs something to cheer about. Soccer could be the one activity that brings all the people together just as it did back in 2007 when Iraq emerged the winner of the Asian Cup defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final. Acts such as the shooting of Haider Kadhim do nothing to help the people of Iraq rise from the ashes to a better tomorrow.


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