Gaza's As-Salam FC amputee football squad unreachable, fate unknown
LUMUT - The organisers of Projek Tongkat: Stand with Palestine, who are currently on tour from Nov 18-26, have lost contact with the As-Salam FC Amputee team from Gaza.
Project Director Dr. Ahmad Munawwar Helmi Salim said the team was supposed to join the mission, but due to the attacks on Gaza, they couldn't make it to Malaysia and are currently unreachable. He said the team, which was supposed to arrive in Malaysia on Nov 15, also left them a meaningful message.
"Pray for us, brother” were the last words we received from them after the series of Israeli military attacks on Gaza since October, and there is no news about their status or whereabouts.
"So far, they cannot be contacted, and we do not know whether they are still alive or have fallen victim to the war; there is no news from them,” he said after a charity match between the Perak Amputee Football Team and the National Amputee Football Squad at Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Marine Engineering Technology (UniKL MIMET) here today.
Dr Ahmad Munawwar hoped the tour would open the eyes of the world to the atrocities committed by Israel and convey the message that people with disabilities (PwD) also deserve a place in sports.
"Our national players are handicapped due to accidents, but our brothers in Gaza end up disabled from war, either through bombs or shot.
"We will always carry their spirit here, and we will show the world that Projek Tongkat is a solidarity mission to the Palestinian people through amputee football, where sports can unite everyone, regardless of religion, race, and country," he said.
Project Tongkat is jointly undertaken by several non-governmental organisations, including BeVital, The Ohana, Malaysian Humanitarian Aid and Relief (MAHAR), as well as Pan-Disability Football and is fully supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry with the assistance of official media partner TV AlHijrah.
The tour began last Saturday at a shopping centre in Johor Bahru and continued with the Manjung leg in Perak today, before it wraps up in Putrajaya on Sunday.
It is aimed at raising awareness about Project Tongkat by introducing amputee football to individuals with disabilities, while also exposing the cruelty of the Israeli regime.
In today's match, the Perak Amputee team defeated the National Amputee squad 7-6 via a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 in regular time. - BERNAMA