Iraq goalkeeper plays just hours after death of new-born child — and then breaks down

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Naft Maysan's goalkeeper Alaa Ahmed is consoled by a teammate after the game. (Zidoun Cris)
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Updated 18 February 2018
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Iraq goalkeeper plays just hours after death of new-born child — and then breaks down

BAGHDAD A goalkeeper in Iraq’s top league hid the death of his newborn daughter from his teammates in order to take part in a key match, the player said Saturday.
“Several hours before the game my five-day-old daughter died because of complications during birth,” Naft Maysan stopper Alaa Ahmad told AFP.
Ahmad, 21, said he asked his family not to spread the information as he was desperate to play in the match Thursday in order to show off his capabilities against giants Al-Shorta, owned by the interior ministry.
“I took a lot on myself and did not tell my teammates or coach because I knew they would refuse to let me play,” he said.
Ahmad helped his underdog team to a 1-1 draw against their rivals but while other players began celebrating at the final whistle he said he was “hit by a bizarre sensation” and collapsed in tears.
News of Ahmad’s decision spread rapidly on social media and he was flooded with messages of support.
“It must be totally heartbreaking for him. May he find peace at this horrendous time,” read one tweet. “So sad RIP... but what a warrior of a dad,” read another.
Pundits heaped praise on his performance, with one of the match referees saying he put in a “spectacular” showing.


Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

Updated 19 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

  • Kingdom's athletes claim three golds, one silver and three bronzes on day four in Abu Dhabi.
  • Saudi Arabia medal tally now up to an impressive 25.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia enjoyed another good day at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi winning three golds, one silver and three bronzes to take their medal tally to an impressive 25 after four days.
Abdulaziz Alharthi got the day off to a great start in the pool, the 17-year-old from Jeddah picking up gold in the men’s 25m freestyle.
That was then followed up with the second gold of the day as Mohammed Alolayan powered home in the 5,000m. It was his second medal of the Games after he took home a bronze in the triathlon.
Moayed Aldarwish completed the hat-trick of golds coming home first in the 400m.


That was not the end of the success for the Kingdom as Fares Almateq and Naif Alshammari won silver in the men’s doubles table tennis. This was Fares’ second win of the week, having impressively won gold in the men’s singles event earlier.
Heba Shawli then became another multiple-medal winner when she took home the bronze in the softball throw event — she having won gold in the 25m run event.
Faisal Algosaibi and Faris Khouj, also part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, each won bronze in their division of the 25m freestyle swimming.


Other winners of multiple medals include Hassan Alhadhariti, who won three golds and one silver in powerlifting; Sara Felemban and Jana Albeshri, who both won silver in bocce women’s singles and women’s team events, and Shahad Sunbul, who won silver in the bocce women’s team event and bronze in the bocce women’s singles event.