Jordan, Kuwait Avert Diplomatic Crisis over Provocative Football Chants

Published October 12th, 2019 - 07:37 GMT
Provocative football chants threaten to spark a diplomatic dispute between Kuwait and Jordan. (KUNA)
Provocative football chants threaten to spark a diplomatic dispute between Kuwait and Jordan. (KUNA)

Amman scrambled on Friday to contain the fallout from provocative chants by some fans during a football match that threatened to spark a diplomatic crisis with Kuwait.

Jordan and Kuwait’s national football teams met during a World Cup qualifier in Amman on Thursday. Some fans sang chants in support of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, provoking the Kuwaiti fans.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi telephoned Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah to denounce the incident.

“Any insult to Kuwait and its people is an insult to Jordan,” he said.

The fraternal Jordanian-Kuwaiti relations are “immune to all attempts to stoke strife between them.”

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Safadi informed his counterpart that Amman will launch a probe into the incident and hold those responsible to account.

Safadi stressed that Amman and Kuwait will continue to cement their strategic relations among their people and leaderships.

The chants were widely condemned by Jordanians on various social media platforms.

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz said on Twitter that Thursday’s incident “does not reflect our values or the ties that bind us with our brothers.”

The Jordan Football Association stressed it will take the necessary measures to hold the offending fans to account, saying they do not represent the Kingdom or its values.

The parliament in Jordan rejected any attempt to harm relations with Kuwait, adding that sport must not be used as a means to create division.

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