Amazing - Qatar's Golden Moment
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Her Grandfather was British therefore she had the right to represent the UK. Get it right please.
I am sure the guy is very nice, and of course all will believe him when he states that he is running for another country (who's religion he does not wish to be part of) for the love of it, and not for money!
I wonder if any of the other 'Qatari' athletes, football players etc playing for the love of Qatar.
I await news of the little indian street cleaners result of his citizenship application, he loves it here in Qatar, has been here for 20 years, family has been born and schooled here, mmm........wonder when the spring snows will arrive!
I agree PM, a citizen is a citizen. However, in the case of athletes becoming Qatari, they are offered large sums of money to leave their home country and compete for Qatar instead. They often have to change their name as well. So I believe they are far from naturalised citizens, which I'd consider to be someone who'd come to live in Qatar for several years and made it their home.
I've also heard rumours that a lot of them don't even live in Qatar, they are given a Qatari passport when it comes to competition time. This may or may not be true though.
Now Qatar haven't technically done anything wrong, otherwise the athletes wouldn't be allowed to compete at all. But this sort of thing has caused a big stir in the athletics community and their are calls for the rules to be tightened.
The UK DID do it, with Zola Budd.
I am complaining about the trade in young African athletes, both to European countries and to Aspire. It's just that it only seems to be written about in the Western press.
I know it's an easy option to attack the press, but Aspire is making stupid decisions and not being held accountable by local journos.
The US, the UK and none of the other 'developed' countries are doing it. Its only countries like Qatar who are doing it.
* Wilson Kipketer ran for Denmark in the 800M event
* Francis Obikwelu, Nigerian Born Portuguese athlete
* Bailey emigrated from Jamaica and ran for Canada in umpteen races.
* Bernard Kipchirchir Lagat is a middle and long distance champion athlete who now represents the United States.
William Boot, it would be very nice if you looked at your own backyard first before actually going on to point fingers at others. Thank you.
I don't go to mythical places with strange men.
-- Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.
Possibly from Palestine or Jordan
If there was any home-grown talent in Qatar, you'd think they'd use them to front the Olympic bid, rather than that archer Nada Zeidan. Curiously, her nationality and place of birth has disappeared from all her promotional literature, just that she's a resident of Qatar.
I'm guessing she's from Yemen, because she says she's an Arab. Maybe she'll be married off to some local guy by the time the next championships come round.
In many cases though its not just players bought, some have Qatari blood, some qualify (by international standards) to be nationalized. Look at the Chinese chess player, she married a Qatari and so was able to get a Qatari passport.
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"I don't think it is a bad thing. Qatar is looking into the future, and the future has to involve diversity."
It's not about diversity, it's about faking nationality for national pride. The few who make it to Aspire or European clubs have a very good life, but the ones who are left behind - the hundreds of thousands who have given up school and have been sold by their parents to sports agents, all for the chance of stardom - they'll be the ones selling fake handbags on the streets.
yea tallg's right samuel francis is a nigerian. like many every QLer helping to increase qatars lot.
got no prob wt that.
one out of some 140 million nigerians. many talents remain at home too. i'm on ealso.
So he's naturalized but he's still christian and he got to keep his name?
Wow, thanks Greeker! When I asked if anyone knew anymore I didn't expect someone to have actually spoken to the guy about it! Interesting to hear it from the horses mouth.
According to the Guardian newspaper article which received no coverage in Qatar:
Last year Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, football's world governing body, accused Europe's richest clubs of 'despicable' behaviour and engaging in 'social and economic rape' as they scour the developing world for talent.
Compare this to the Aspire press release, which was published word-for-word by all the local papers over the past two days:
During the visit, Blatter responded to a handful of earlier media reports that had suggested he was concerned about the wider aims of the ASPIRE Africa... "This visit has provided me with the opportunity to learn about the ASPIRE Africa program first-hand and I have to say that I am very relaxed and supportive about the project now that I understand how it works."
Well that's alright then. There obviously isn't any social and economic rape involved if an Aspire press release says so.
Samuel Francis never ran for Nigeria. He came into athletics quite late and attended only a few school runs. He was spotted by Qatari officials and was brought here. Since he hadnt run for Nigeria, the relocation was easy.
I talked to him yesterday after he won the gold (also much before the competition too) about how he got to keep his name. He said that he was a christian and he wasnt ready to change that for any amount of money. He came to Qatar in search of better training conditions. He reiterates that he is not here for the money, but the training facilities that would bring him athletic glory in the future.
Know what, i believe him. He sounds sincere and he is a great, approachable guy. All great athletes are. And ASPIRE Africa boys are not 10 years old, they are 13.
are a large number of "foreign" athletes running for Qatar although Qatar did have a very good sprinter of its own.
Talal Mansoor won the Asian Games 100m on a number of occasions.
I think that the weight lifting team were mainly East European a few years back.
I'm surprised he got to keep his birth name. Often the athletes names are changed when they are given Qatari nationality.
The problem with importing great athletes is that the governing bodies are on to it. FIFA has already banned players who weren't born or educated in a country, and the IOC is likely to introduce a similar rule.
Hence the current obsession of Qatar's Aspire Academy to buy 10-year-old boys with football potential from Africa. A practice which is great for the 25 boys who are chosen, and their families. However, it's not so great for the half-million boys who skip school to attend illegal football academies in Africa because they thought they stood a chance of becoming rich and famous.
FIFA has said that Africa is being raped of it's young players, and Save the Children are complaining too. It's disturbing that the story has been reported by the sports press in the rest of the world, but not in Qatar. It's like the country just doesn't care so long as it has sporting success.
Samuel Francis was born in Nigeria, however I wasn't able to find any information about how he qualified to run for Qatar. I assume money was involved somewhere (the Nigerian track & field association is notoriously corrupt), though I guess he could have lived here long enough to be naturalised. Anyone have any further information?
Unfortunately Qatar's decision to tempt athletes from other countries to compete for Qatar could count against them in their bid to host the 2016 Olympics.