Heady feelings filled the Lyari Stadium today at the second football match between Pakistan and Palestine. A modest but enthusiastic crowd gathered to support not only their own Pakistani football team, but even the Palestinian side. The enthusiasm for the welcome visitors was so great that sometimes it was difficult to spot where the real Palestinian supporters were seated.
The visitors’ native support was provided by a large group of Palestinian students from Hyderabad, who had taken a break from studies and come in just to support their team. They quickly set up a festive atmosphere in their stand – playing Darbukas and cheering with native songs and slogans, even the occasional “Pakistan Zindabad!”
The stadium was about half full but the crowd was lively and went on to enjoy the drawn match, where it seemed that the true winner was the game of football itself. – Text and photography by Nadir Siddiqui