A contested field - Football in war zones
- Ronny Blaschke / Deutschlandfunk Kultur
In the war zones of the Middle East, football is a contested commodity: dictators brutally bring players into line and use stadiums as military bases. For terrorists, games are seen as high-profile targets for attacks, but also as places for recruitment. On the other hand, the national teams in Iraq or Afghanistan are among the rare symbols with which hostile ethnic groups can equally identify. The situation is similar in Syria, where President Assad wants to convey normality - because rebuilding the country will be expensive.