Dani Cancela inaugurates the end of the veto to Iraq with his mind set on Hong Kong

The Galician acknowledges being concerned about the situation in Hong Kong, where proposals against joining China have led to the arrest of the league.


Last Thursday Basra was paralyzed to receive the Iraq national team, which played its first official home match against Hong Kong over the last eight years. Despite the protests that in the last weeks have caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of wounded in Baghdad and the south of the country, FIFA authorized a meeting that ended without incident and with a local victory by two goals to zero. Galician Dani Cancela, an international with Hong Kong since obtaining nationality in 2017, witnessed a historic moment for Iraq: "Militarization is noticeable and the city is in a mess. You see police officers with submachine guns, armored trucks ... It is quite impressive, but the local people have treated us very well, "he says.

Still "annoyed" by the defeat, Cancela narrates what has been one of his great adventures in the Asian continent: "It is shocking to see so many weapons nearby, but at no time have we had a feeling of insecurity. Basra was the epicenter of the protests the year It's past, but now it's quiet. We couldn't see much because we just left the hotel to train and go to the game, but through the bus window you can see a lot of poverty and dirt. It's all shattered and full of sand. Even on the grass it was unpleasant breathe. It smelled like smoke, "says the Spaniard, who had a" complicated "game against" one of the most complicated teams in the group. " "To play as a visitor in Asia is very complicated. Because of the time difference, the trips, the heat ... Even so, we competed. They put the first one before the break and the second one already in the 80 '", complete

Although the streets of Baghdad cry out against corruption and unemployment, the stands of the Basra Sports City, more than 500 kilometers away, looked "fantastic." "The atmosphere was very good. People wanted to enjoy an official game of Iraq at home again," says Dani Cancela, a Spaniard accustomed to dealing with uncertainty in recent weeks. The conflict in Hong Kong, which has ended up mobilizing a society that seeks to defend its freedoms against China, has disrupted the Hong Kong Premier League and Kitchee, a team to which the Galician defender belongs, has not played an official match since last September 14 . "Competition is a minor issue for society, but for us it is our way of life. We are afraid that they will decide to cancel it and we are worried. And the worst thing is that no short-term solution is planned. It does not seem that they are going to end the protests and we don't know what the consequences would be for the Chinese army to end up in Hong Kong, "he says.

For Cancela, who awaits the birth of her third child in the coming weeks, the situation is limited. "We are worried because my wife is eight months pregnant and in a few weeks she will not be able to travel anymore. If she has to go to Spain to give birth she should leave now. We hope we don't have to make any drastic decisions, but we are very worried," Complete the Spanish minutes after inaugurating FIFA's veto to Iraq. The uncertainty, unfortunately, will not leave you on your way home.



Photos from as.com
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