Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Legendary Christmas Day Football Match.

When opponents put aside their differences temporarily and grab a momentary respite from the rigours of war.
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Christmas morning in Afghanistan and as a watery sun rose across the bleak landscape some bearded men warily poked their heads out of the cave making T shapes with their hands and whistled to the special forces - "hey Yankee - you wanna play?" The American troops gaped as the last remaining Taliban forces donned the black helmets and white shoulderpads of the Kabul Camels, scratched out goal lines and end zones in the snow before getting in a huddle. Never ones not to rise to a challenge the US troops quickly grabbed the ball, kicked off and the game was on. And what a game! Who was that gangly Arab that galloped through the US defence for 277 yards and two touchdowns? And later, both sides shared a canteen of water, an energy bar and some bread before heading off back to their caves and compounds for sundown. A poignant moment in the desert….. Maybe leaflets could be dropped suggesting it?
notripe, Dec 13 2001

Friday night football if Taliban were in charge http://www.coxnews....OLUMN-1013-COX.html
Kind of sentimental, but suggesting the game might be rather far from what we're used to. [pottedstu, Dec 14 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Afghan football game http://www.afghanra...une/jun27a2001.html
No cheering or whistling, and no players wearing shorts. (Not clear if this is American football -- not widely played in asia -- or soccer.) [pottedstu, Dec 14 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Football in Iran http://www.awitness..._football_riot.html
Meanwhile in Iran, which is rather good at soccer by Asian standards, football matches are a cover for political protests. [pottedstu, Dec 14 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Christmas Truce http://news.bbc.co....d_197000/197627.stm
The BBC puts this story in context. [Aristotle, Dec 14 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       The difference between the Arabs and the Germans (to whom in WW2 I assume your referring) is that the Arabs aren't Christians. Therefore don't celebrate Christmas. Making 25th December just another day. Meaning they'll probably just stay in their caves.
CoolerKing, Dec 13 2001

       dunno if the WW1 thing had a particularly religious sentiment, rather just a shared holiday. The last day of Ramadan and Christmas day could be the match and the return.
notripe, Dec 14 2001

       "Escape to Victory" *is* the legendary Christmas day football match. It will be probably on about 12pm on BBC1 like every year. Ah Pele.
Redbrickterrace, Dec 14 2001

       It would be more appropriate to play a Christmas Day cricket match as Afghanistan was just admitted to the ICC (International Cricket Confederation) this summer.
DrBob, Dec 14 2001

       The Taliban imposed all kinds of restrictions on sport in Afghanistan. Women obviously couldn't compete, and the male teams all had to wear full Islamic dress (no shorts and singlets). The crowds weren't allowed to cheer, but could only show their approval by chanting about the greatness of God, and I seem to remember reading somewhere (no cite for this part) that they had to encourage both sides equally, which might prove a problem. See links.
pottedstu, Dec 14 2001

       It was a soccer stadium that they used for public executions too, if I remember correctly.
Redbrickterrace, Dec 14 2001

       Not just the stadium, but the games were used. The teams and the audience assembled for the game were forced to watch the executions at midfield. And not just executions, but punishments, too. And by "punishment," I mean the amputation of bodily appendages. Severed hands were kept on display in an oil drum as a reminder.
beauxeault, Dec 14 2001

       The Afghan football game mentioned in [pottedstu]'s link is football rather than American Football. I remember the corresponding news article in the UK news.   

       The problem with the Afghan/American sport scenario is that the US and the Taliban lack any common sport. The German and British football match went ahead because both sides celebrated Christmas and loved football. Americans could draft a cricket team from Silicon Valley though ...
Aristotle, Dec 14 2001

       Croissant for the thought and spirit of the idea, if nothing else.
PotatoStew, Dec 14 2001

       Yeah, the common game does seem to be the problem and by the looks of the current situation it could be a little late in the day for the Kabul Camels to come forward without it seeming like an unconditional surrender. However, putting that aside for the moment maybe the game should be something more basic like tag, or forty forty save all or wallball - or maybe if the Taliban put up with music for a bit (I suppose in return the Special Forces should all grow beards, rather than just those squaddie moustaches that all British soldiers (and policeman) seem to have) they could do musical statues or musical chairs or musical caves. After all, they've been playing hide and seek for ages now....
notripe, Dec 16 2001

       I like Rods Tiger's idea, but I also care more for the pseudo-civilized nature of notripe's idea. I say we combine them into an activity everyone knows how to participate in...a good old fasioned boxing tounament!
NeverDie, Dec 16 2001


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