Exactly 1 year from now, I was full of hope about Lebanon reaching the World Cup, a dream that I always thought impossible. I rushed to Beirut Sports City stadium on that sunny Sunday to watch the game against Qatar, the first step to reach the big dream after we qualified to the final round in the Asian qualifiers. Excitement was all over the place, especially that Lebanon managed to dominate the game and was very close to open the score. 60,000 were cheering for every ball until …
Ramez Dyoub decided it’s time to sell the game by doing this.
Some considered it was an accident, but his back-pass was too strange to be accidental. Few months later, it was all clear. Many Lebanese players were accused of match fixing, Ramiz Dyoub and Mahmoud el Ali getting the most severe punishments as they were banned for life from playing football.
I believe this punishment is not enough and should be harder so it can be a lesson to whomever might think of betraying his country in such a cheap way.
Here’s what Theo Bucker, who turned down huge offers for the love of Lebanon, commented after knowing about the scandal:
Personally I’m very disappointed with a couple of guys I really trusted. Ramez was a senior player, he was a player who, after the game my wife said he did something very bad, I stood up for and told her she must be mad, I put my hand in the fire for him.
It’s a funny world we live in, what to do? For us this situation was clear a few months ago, directly after the first match against Qatar. By watching the film, you can tell by watching our friend Ramez he tried several times to play the striker through on goal until he was successful, that was the first time we thought something might be wrong.
It took me a while to believe myself, because I thought there was no way these guys would ever do something like this. Here we have the proof, if you see how he gestures for the ball all the time and then makes a bad pass, several times with real intention. Of course, (he says he’s innocent) now they might find out what they have been doing.
It is so sad that corruption in our country got even into sports fields and affected the national team.