In the early stages of qualification, some of the team’s players wore shirts featuring an image of Assad at a pre-match press conference. Making it to FIFA Coins Russia would create the impression of normality and order in his country. It would also give a headache to FIFA, who vehemently oppose political interference in football. However there is concern the team’s exploits are propaganda for Bashar al-Assad’s regimeWhen the BBC journalists Richard Conway and David Lockwood investigated the side’s success for their the documentary ‘Syria.
Football on the Frontline’, Assad’s officials discouraged them from covering two car-bomb attacks, a short distance from where Hakeem’s players were training. The pair did so anyway. A total of 40 people, many of them Shia pilgrims visiting from Iraq, were killed.The film captured the huge image of Assad, pitch-side at one training session. His government funds the team via the Syrian Football Association, an arm of government.
Though the players’ wages are minimal – £55 a month – the side could not afford travel or hotels without the country’s FA. General Mowaffak Joumaa, the most powerful sports official in Syria, has attended qualification matches. He was denied a visa for the London 2012 Olympic Games, because of his links to Assad.
For many of the best Syrian talents, the war has brought obscurity, rather than a place on this international stage. Helal al-Baarini was a key member of the Under 19 side and played for Al-Karamah as a 17-year-old, but his family were forced to flee the bombing in Homs and, after four years as refugees in Jordan, ultimately found refuge in Cheap FUT Coins Birmingham.