US Apologizes For Insensitive Soccer Balls

Afghans don't like prophet's name being kicked around
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2007 4:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – The US military apologized to Afghans today for soccer balls it distributed to young Muslim Beckhams in “good will.” The balls sported the Saudi flag, which carries the Islamic declaration of faith—including the names of Allah and Muhammad. An Afghan governor said villagers wanted to demonstrate against the US for suggesting their feet come into contact with holy text.

A contrite spokesman said the military had hoped the balls would “bring Afghan children some enjoyment,” and was quick to point out that the enscriptured sports gear was made in China. The botched PR move increases the tension present already between Afghans and the 50,000 mostly non-Muslim coalition forces in their country. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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