Killing a Former Soccer Star


Ahed Zaqout was a 49-year-old sportscaster and television host in Gaza. He was once a soccer star, playing midfielder for the Palestinian national soccer team. Last week, he was killed while in bed by an airstrike by the Israeli Defense Forces. Though no evidence points to Zaqout having any political cause, he was a constant source of joy and refuge for the people under siege. Although it is doubtful that the IDF targeted Zaqout, the soccer community has been particularly harassed in Gaza. FIFA is debating sanctions against Israel’s membership in the organization because of accusations that the country has used state violence to hinder the Palestinian national team. The truth is, Zaqout’s death, whether intended or unintended, should remain irrelevant to FIFA. It is an interesting perspective to view FIFA as an arbiter of social justice, but no one can really block FIFA’s decisions. FIFA can likely do something that leave people across the world cognizant of their ability to reprimand unsportsmanlike behavior. If international politicians are unable to stop indiscriminate killing, maybe international sports can. Read more at The Nation.

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