Friday, September 12, 2014

Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad: the Kuwaiti soccer chief and war hero

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

     This was a well-known incident at  the WC in 1982. France was winning 3-1 against Kuwait when Alain Giresse scored a goal. However, before  the goal, some of the Kuwaiti players claimed to hear a whistle from the stands and stopped play.  Soviet referee Miroslav Stupar. initially awardedthe goal.  Then, came one of the most  bizarre moments in World Cup history.  Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad, the brother of the Kuwaiti Emir and the president of the Kuwaiti Football Association, rushed onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee. He threatened to pull his team off the field.  Instead of standing firm, Stupar changed his mind and disallowed the goal.  France would score it again to make it 4-1.
     Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad's name would make the news again 8 years later. During the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the entire Royal family fled Kuwait,but Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad stayed behind to defend Dasman Palace, the royal residence. He died fighting the Iraqi invaders with his body guards. According to some reports, his dead body was placed in front of a tank and run over.  Allegedly, Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad had a peronal feud with Uday Hussein even before the invasion.  He was the President of the Olympic Council of Asia while Uday was was in charge of the Iraqi Olympic
Committee.  The pair had clashed many times.  

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