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Danger: Saudi hooligans!!

313 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  HiJazzey
Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2002 11:22 a.m. EDT) - The United States on Thursday warned its citizens in Saudi Arabia about possible "disruptive behavior" from soccer fans at the end of the country's soccer season next week.

The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh said celebrations marking the end of the season have in the past turned raucous and resulted in injuries, and urged Americans in Saudi Arabia to avoid large crowds and keep a low profile during the matches and their aftermath.

"In recent years, the aftermath of major Saudi soccer games has sometimes resulted in raucous public celebrating in which there has been property damage and some resultant threat of injury," the Embassy said in a notice posted on its Web site.

"No matter the outcome for these games, many major thoroughfares throughout the kingdom will be crowded on the evenings of the soccer matches," it said.

"Even though the police will be present to keep peace and order, there is some potential for disruptive behavior. American citizens are encouraged to avoid crowds and to maintain a low profile."

The notice listed dates to be cautious as April 24 - when the final game in the Crown Prince Cup, the second most important Saudi competition, was played in Jeddah - and May 1, when the final game in the King's Cup, the most important Saudi competition, is to be played in Riyadh.


American wusses
The only danger of being on the major roads like Tahlia in Jeddah or Thalatheen in Riyadh after a game is getting stopped by the police, especially if you're driving a Maxima or any other "9aye3" car.
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You never know.

Although no Westerners have been harrassed in the past. The main reasons however maybe beacuase matches end between 10-11 pm. Only Saudis stay up later than that.

I don't know about Jeddah, but in Riyadh and Khobar/Dammam, sometimes things really get out of hand. In many cases families get harrassed and cars get damaged. These cases usually happen after the NT wins, however, not clubs. Saudi youth have very few means to vent. In 1988, Riyadh went into a standstill after the NT beat Iran in the Semis of the Asian Cup. All the major roads and bridges were blocked and many families were stuck for hours. That match ended early so the situation continued until past midnight. In fact, if you see the clips from many songs about the NT, you see footage of that day, most probably taken by a helicopter. It was rumored that Riyadh jails were overflown that night. After that incident, the police made an "arrangement" by allowing celebrations in certain areas. In Khobar or Dammam everything is confined to the Corniche, or part of it. Still things do get out of hands from time to time. I witnessed some of it after winning the Gulf Cup back in 1994. Some poor Egyptian and Palestinian families were stuck in the corniche not knowing about the Gulf Cup.

Ofcourse, those that celebrate football wins are without doubt the least segment of the Saudi population that harbors negative feeling regarding Americans. They are just for the fun and maybe some adventure, but nothing more. However, there is always the danger of some teenager trying to be fancy with his car "taf7eet" and then loses control of the car. That is the most dangerous thing in these celebrations since innocent bystandards pay for it sometimes with their lives.
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