New Delhi, Dec 7: Amidst the joy of emerging as favourites in the SAFF Cup football tournament, the Afghanistan team suffered a tragedy as its mid-fielder Mustafa Madar lost four members of his family in Tuesday’s deadly blast that rocked the capital city of Kabul.
As a mark of respect, every time an Afghanistan player scored during Wednesday’s 8-1 win against Bhutan, he raced to the technical bench to embrace Madar.
The blast in the Abu Fazal shrine, which was packed with worshippers on the occasion of Yaum-al-Ashura, the final day of Muharram, claimed 54 lives. Madar lost four teenage cousins in the ghastly attack.
‘I lost four cousins in the blasts yesterday, some as young as 13-15-year olds. It is a terrible loss for me,’ said an inconsolable Madar, who was a part of the squad that won the 2008 Homeless World Cup.
‘This tournament was of immense importance to us and all the players were happy. But this dastardly act has sent a shockwave in the team,’ said Madar.
Afghanistan ambassador Nanguyalai Tarzi, who was here to watch the match, also consoled Madar.
Afghanistan coach Mohammed Yusuf Kargar dedicated the team’s victory to the victims of the Kabul blast.
‘We dedicate the victory to the victims of Kabul blasts. People who indulge in such activities have no religion. More than 50 people lost their lives,’ he said.