Bahraini player delays honeymoon until after Gulf Cup

Abdulwahab Al Malood

Abdulwahab Al Malood

By Habib Toumi

Manama: Amid jubilations and congratulations in Bahrain after the football national team beat all odd and reached the final of the Gulf Cup, Bahrainis heaped praise on their players.

However, one player has been extra praised for a very special reason: Delaying his honeymoon.

Abdulwahab Al Malood has just got married and he and his wife were planning to jet off for a honeymoon at the start of their new life.

His club understood the reasons for Abdulwahab to miss a couple of matches and there was no objection.

However, when the national team decided after all to take part in the Gulf Cup alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Yemen, Abdulwahab, an international player, faced a new commitment.

Driven by a string sense of patriotism and priority to the nation, Abdulwahab and his bride of a couple of days decided to delay their trip abroad so he can contribute to the success of the national team and hopefully win the much-coveted trophy.

Bahrainis have appreciated Abdulwahab for making himself available to the squad, using social media to pay tribute to his high level of patriotism and deep sense of commitment.

Abdulwahab saw it as his duty to be in the service of Bahrain, regardless of his sentimental plans.

“It is a great honor for me to represent my country and to play for the national team,” Abdulwahab said.

“Postponing the honeymoon despite its significance to both my bride and me is the least I can do for my country.” He joined the squad and flew with them to Qatar.

As the team went through the first stage, the stay in the peninsular country became longer and as Bahrain qualified for the final, Abdulwahab will not be home until late Sunday or on Monday.

It was the second time that a Bahraini elite player defers family commitments to continue playing for his country.

In October, a Bahraini player was with the national handball team in Qatar getting ready to play the final against South Korea when he got news that his father had passed away.

However, Mahdi Saad opted not to return home and preferred to stay with his teammates to play the game that Bahrain won and allowed it to qualify for the Olympics in Japan.

King Hamad called him afterwards to offer his condolences and praised him for his resolve to pursue his patriotic mission with the national team.

“Sometimes, we are faced with difficult choices, especially when they include deep emotions,” a blogger posted on his social media account.

“The sense of patriotism and the desire to accomplish a new achievement for the country and bring smiles to thousands of people are stronger than your own feelings. We salute such players for their dedication and devotion to the national team.”

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