New Delhi: The blast that rocked Kabul on the occasion of Muharram, had an impact on the Afghanistan football team competing in the SAFF Championship here, as one of its players, Mustafa Madar, lost four family members in the tragic incident.
And moments after their 8-1 drubbing of Bhutan at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here that took them to the last-four stage of the tournament, Afghanistan coach Mohammad Yusuf Kargar dedicated their victory to the blast victims.
As an act of gesture, those who scored in Afghanistan's victory today, embraced Madar after every strike.
"Yesterday there was a blast, and more than 50 people died and four of them were family members of a player. It was painful and we dedicate this victory to those victims who died in the blast," Kargar said.
Madar, who was on the bench, was visibly upset. "I lost four cousins in the blasts yesterday with some as young as thirteen and fourteen years old. We were so happy when we came here but on hearing this sad news, I just cannot stop crying. Now I have to control myself as we have a chance in this tournament," Madar said.
More than 50 people were reportedly killed in the bomb blast, which struck the city yesterday.
The blasts coincided with 'Ashura', which is the final day of Muharram wherein the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad's grandson is mourned by the Shia Muslims, and is marked by a national holiday.
About his team's prospect in the semifinal, Kargar said that Afghanistan were not worried about whether they play Maldives or Nepal.