Kazakhstan plays Iranian anthem to welcome Syrian basketball team

Syria’s sports federation has complained to basketball’s world governing body after Kazakhstan welcomed its team with the Iranian national anthem, instead of the Syrian, to the game at the first leg of Asian qualifiers for World Cup 2023.

Syrian players appeared perplexed when the song was played by the Kazakh hosts at the start of the game on Saturday in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. Still, they clapped after the anthem was finished.

After a huddle and before the game started, the Syrians sang their own national anthem on the court. The technical team cheered them on.

Syria lost to the Kazakh team 74 to 84. Another match is scheduled for the home crowd on Monday in Damascus, Syria. Syria and Kazakhstan play in the same group with Iran and Bahrain.

At least it was the anthem of an ally. In 2012, a fictional national anthem from the comedy film “Borat” was played for Kazakhstan instead of the real one at a medal ceremony at championships in Kuwait.

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