Kemal Karic (13), who lives in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), will be Scotland team mascot for the World Cup qualifying match between Scotland and Italy, which will be played at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on Saturday 3 September 2005.
Kemo became an amputee as a three-months-old baby during the war, in a mortar shelling when his mother was killed. He was saved by Italian journalist Toni who took him out of the besieged city in the trunk of his car, and provided treatment for him in Italy. Kemal came back to Sarajevo six years later, after the war.
In November 2001, after a wee story about Kemo was put on Tartan Army Message Board, Internet forum of Scotland football fans, many people wanted to help him by raising money for new prosthetic limb and renovation of his house. In the end, there were 4,792 GBP raised for Kemo and this donation was presented by HE Ambassador Ian Cliff at the British Embassy in Sarajevo in August 2002.
Kemal became a symbol and inspiration for Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal that was formed shortly after Kemal Karic Appeal was closed. Many people wanted to see Kemal as Scotland mascot at Hampden but for a number of reasons that was not possible until now.
Looking forward to see Kemo at Hampden in September.