For the 12-year-old Syrian Hazem al-Hossain, this disrupted his artistic connection with the beautiful game: commentary.
Rather than taking part in a match for two with his friends, al-Hossain prefers to “broadcast the action” of the heated match which takes place in front of him.
“I love to comment more than playing the game,” al-Hossain told Reuters news agency. “For me, it’s more interesting.”
His love of comments started at the age of five, when he was watching a match between the Spanish clubs of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, and has since preferred to comment rather than play the match. And his goal remained to call action.
Al-Hossain does not support an individual team.
“I don’t support any team,” he explains. “Any commentator must be neutral. I must not support any team.
“I love the Spanish league, the English league, the Italian and French leagues. I love the game.”
When he can’t comment on his friends’ games, he instead comments on the video games his older brother plays.
“When I play PlayStation, he is still sitting next to me and begins to comment on the game,” said Al-Hossain’s brother Mulham. “I wish him good luck and hope to see him a famous commentator one day.”
Hazem registers and uploads his videos to hundreds of online followers, and hopes to one day receive formal training.
One of his fans regrets the lack of infrastructure to support people like Hazem: “His videos are very beautiful and he has a beautiful voice,” they explain. “We must remember that he is only 12 years old and that he is in sixth grade.
“It is good that he has this talent, but the problem is that we do not have academies here to support these children in order to improve them and train them to become commentators.
“In Syria, we lack commentators.”
Authorities have eased a lockout over the past week and allowed a wide range of professions and businesses to return to work.