I recently read an article written by my colleague and friend Reem called Football Players, Why Not Government Officials?. I loved her writing, but it was not specifically the talk about football that got me intrigued, since I don’t care for sports.
It was her apparent and overflowing sense of love and patriotism for a country that cannot provide as much as security for its citizens, that truly captivated me.
Me on the other hand, I wish sports would be banished from my country. Our two most famous football teams, instead of uniting the people in the street who love the game, further separate them in the name of sheer and biased loyalty.
In my case however, the government is a big supporter of sports. Why wouldn’t it be? When the people rage the streets for a lost game instead of when Jalila Khamis -a human rights activist- is imprisoned without trial. And why wouldn’t it be? When people get into fights after arguing which coach is worth of bringing to which team instead of arguing whether the government could have prevented cutting off Sudan into two.
Sports in my country is the government’s way of drugging souls. But to be fair, when one is living in a country that can hardly be called a proper one, it is easy to get seduced by the distractions laying around, and our self serving government cannot be blamed for encouraging that.