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Soccer’s peacemaker passes away in Karachi

A veteran Pakistani footballer who played for an Indian club and was revered on both sides of the subcontinent passed away at the weekend, h...

A veteran Pakistani footballer who played for an Indian club and was revered on both sides of the subcontinent passed away at the weekend, his family announced today. Musa Ghazi, 75, a former Pakistani captain, played for Kolkata’s Mohammedan Sporting club in the 1940s and 1950s. He had migrated to Pakistan from India during the 1947 partition of South Asia. He died last night at his home in Karachi.

The left winger was offered Indian nationality in the 1950s but opted to stay in Pakistan, his brother Abid Ghazi said. As a sportsman who straddled the decades-old tensions between the neighbours, he had been thrilled by the recent mutual peace overtures — not least the vow to revive severed sporting ties.

“Ghazi was an ambassador for both Pakistan and India. He was very happy when he was told that both countries are heading towards normalisation of relations,” Abid told AFP.

Players from Pakistan regularly featured in Indian league football until the 1965 war brought a closure to the exchanges. Ghazi led Pakistan to a top three Asian ranking in the late 1950s and 1960s. It has since fallen to number 50 among Asia’s 60 football countries.

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First published on: 13-05-2003 at 12:00:00 am
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