KARACHI, Jan 5: Nine African boxers embraced Islam on the sidelines of an international boxing tournament on Tuesday, saying they were impressed by the humanity and righteous ways of the religion.
The boxers flew into Karachi to compete in the contest named after assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and drawing participants from 20 countries around the world.
It was a landmark tournament for Pakistan, coming 10 months after an attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore killed eight people, all but destroying the country’s hopes of hosting top-level international sport.
Six boxers from Central African Republic (CAR) --- Yagor Gbodo, Selebange Welcome, Niamogui Songnekani, NGoko Bongui, Ndarash and Bongola --- all chose to convert on the sidelines of the contest, which runs until Friday.
They were joined by Mendoua Blase, Ketchemi Joseph Justin and Tchwem Justin from Cameroon who also converted from Christianity to Islam. CAR coach Mohammad Kalambaye said the boxers were impressed by the teachings of Islam and Pakistan’s hospitality.—AFP
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