By: Ahmed Mahdi Salem
The football team of Khanfar had a brilliant history and a beautiful presence, thanks to God, and with the determination that motivated a group of its stars, who wove the letters of the glories of that glorious past that overlooks us, and mocks the sad, sad of the team current Over the years, Khanfar has been the racehorse that has not disappointed the bettors…
Among the stars of that golden age, the name of the great star Masoud Suleiman, the midfielder of Khanfar, who always toured the football fields, demonstrated his football arts and amazing skills, and scored crucial goals for which the fans applauded a lot stands out.
In addition to his high sportsmanship and good morals, he was respected and respected by everyone, including his opponents. Masoud Suleiman was often the winning card for his team in various football competitions. As a result of his strong level and technical skills, he joined. and played with the Abyan national team at that time. With the school and youth national team, he made strong performances. In addition, playing with Khanfar, he scored more than twenty goals in important matches in various tournaments.
To illuminate his career, we caught up with him in his first press interview… in his first appearance with the sports public and followers… and here are the following lines that reveal an aspect of his brilliant career…
* When did you start playing football? And when did you join Khanfar Club as a main player?
– I started like any player at a young age… seven years old… on the street and at school, and my first match with the first team was in December 1972… there was an upcoming match with a team from Zanzibar… the police or security… and we were a group of young people. They said: He who has boots will play in the match, and I was ready with my boots, and I played the match when I was. young..
I gave a wonderful performance that qualified me to play as a key player in the team with our homogeneous group.
* The position in which you play, and its specifications?
– I play in the midfield position, which is one of the most important positions in the game of football.
* Who trained Khanfar in the days of his strength… and in those days of yours?
– Captain Haidra Abu Bakr Al-Baiti, he also played with us, and captain Awad Al-Malih sometimes.
* The first goal you scored with Khanfar…and in what year?
– It was against Hassan’s team at the end of the league.. I shone and scored the winning goal that Khanfar scored and grabbed the championship cup, and that day the crowd carried me on their shoulders.. and from that day I started my journey with fame and love for football, and playing with sincerity to achieve victories.
* How many times have you won the Abyan Governorate Championship?
– three times
* I know you played for the Abyan national team. Have you ever joined the national team or school teams?
– I was called to play with the national team.. School teams to play in external participation.. There were three of us, myself from Khanfar, the late Shaybah al-Tami from Hassan.. and Jamil Awafi from Lahj, and then we were excluded, and they brought others through an intermediary as our substitutes.. Then it turned out that the conditions did not apply to them because they were not students… and they missed our opportunity to participate.
Due to the consistency and strength of our standards, I joined the Abyan national team four times. We played against various national teams and teams, including a strong match with the Chinese team in the late Bin Salman Stadium in Jaar, which ended with 4 -0 win for them.
* How was the level of Khanfar in your days compared to the strong teams at the time? For example, did he win all or most of the championships in Abyan Governorate?
– Khanfar’s level was high… and we competed with Hassan… one year they took the league championship, and another year Khanfar took it… and the matches were at a great level of competition and excitement… and the rivalries between the clubs were amazing and exciting… and when we entered the general league between the clubs in the south, we were We excelled and won over clubs like Shamsan and Al-Shorta… and most of the clubs in Lahj Governorate… We defeated them more than they defeated us.
* Who was responsible for suspending the Khanfar club and allowing Hassan to participate and represent Abyan in the general league in Aden? What do you remember about the riotous events in that match, after which the level and presence of the Khanfar football team decreased. ?
-Khanfar lost the first supporter, club president, brother Mohsen Jasous, after the killing of the legitimate president Salem Rabie Ali.
In the Hassan Club or in Zanzibar, there were political and sports cadres that contributed to developing the level of the Hassan Club, and the level of Khanfar was weak.. There is no interest, and while Hassan kept his stars, most of the Khanfar players after high school went abroad to study..
As for the match in which there was a riot… our team, Khanfar and Hassan, were tied, and I think the two teams deviated from the spirit of sportsmanship and caused riots in a way that does not befit their history. . and that was in 1976.
* You were chosen after Khanfar stopped playing with Hassan. This is an acknowledgment of your good football skills. Who was with you from Khanfar also played with Hassan?
– In 1976, I was called to play with Hassan… and I had with me from Khanfar the two players, striker Qasim Muhammad Qasim, and defender Ahmed Al-Barakani… and we played with Hassan in a whole league. .. then after Khanfar came back to participate after the suspension, we went back to our team and played with him.
While I was with Hassan, I performed my best and stood out, scored goals, and scored in some matches. Even on October 14, a newspaper wrote about me several times, in which I appeared as the best player or star of the match .And of course. , in our days, there was no sports media before the journalist Ahmed Mahdi appeared. We didn’t find any newspapers available… and if they were available, we didn’t keep them… Of course, most of the matches we played Hassan with were held in Aden.
*When did you stop playing? Was it a retirement party for you?
– I stopped in 1982, and I did not have an official farewell party befitting my history. However, Captain Qasim Muhammad Qasim, President of the Khanfar Club, and brother Bakil Al-Shabhi proposed the idea of holding a retirement party for me. , and until this moment it has not happened, and I do not know the reasons for the delay.
* The most dangerous strikers of your team, and of other teams with whom and against whom you have played?
– From my team, the best striker Qasim Muhammad Qasim, and I agreed with him, and created most of the goals for him, and among the best midfielders were Awad Salem Awad “Awadin”, Muhammad Sharaf, and Al- Shaybah Al-Tami.
* What about your other activities that were not asked about in the context of this press interview?
– In America, I contributed to training and leadership of the community team, and the Yafaa Charitable Association, which supported the team, and we participated with them. I was the head of the sports committee and the coach of the team. We started 2018 by organizing a championship at the level of the United States of America, and we managed to organize two tournaments in Michigan, Yaqlo and Worcester. We stopped this year.. I am also active in the Yafaa Charitable Association, and I hold the position of President of the Board of trustees.. Our support continues through the association.. We receive all the medical and sports reports, and after studying the medical report we support and contribute to sponsoring most sports activities and cultural, artistic and social events as a contribution. We are active in foreign countries, and we hope to be more successful.
* A closing word you would like to say?
– I summarize the words of wisdom found in the largest universities in the United States. Hopefully, our youth will benefit us in the field of overcoming obstacles. It says: “Many of those who have failed in their lives did not realize how close they were to achieving success when they gave up trying.”