By Samindra Kunti in Doha
November 23 – Saudis will enjoy a day off on Wednesday as the Kingdom declared a public holiday to mark the Green Falcons’ historic 2-1 win against Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
The holiday will be for all state employees “and the private sector, and male and female students in all educational stages”, the government announced on Tuesday evening.
The victory against Argentina was as unexpected as it was dramatic with Hervé Renard’s team rallying from behind to shock one of the tournament favourites and stage one of the all-time great World Cup upsets.
Saudi Arabia’s victory was as extraordinary as Senegal’s defeat of France in that tournament’s curtain raiser and the USA overcoming England 1-0 in 1950, but the result also transcended its sporting significance.
Following Qatar’s defeat in the opening game, Saudi Arabia restored the region’s pride at the first global finals in the Arab world.
The Emir of Qatar was seen waving the Saudi flag and downtown Doha the Saudi flag was displayed on two skyscrapers, scenes that would have been unthinkable not long ago because of the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
The zest and zeal of the team were the best advertisements Saudi Arabia could have had. The country has often been accused of sports washing, seeking a more prominent stage in world football. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen as the de facto ruler and often lambasted for the Kingdom’s poor human rights record, was pictured embracing his brothers after the full-time whistle.
Saudis across the country watched the match. Women went to cafés, students were given the afternoon off. Crossing the land border with Qatar, thousands and thousands of Saudis filled the Lusail Stadium, and even if still outnumbered by the Argentina fans, showed that they are among the most passionate fans in Asia.
In the Doha metro, Argentina fans however were shellshocked. They texted family and friends with the worlds ‘My god,…
Source link : https://www.insideworldfootball.com/2022/11/23/saudis-celebrate-famous-argentina-win-day-off-work/
Author : Paul Nicholson
Publish date : 2022-11-23 11:06:18
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