- Iraq national football team
Infobox National football team| Name = Iraq
FIFA Trigramme = IRQ
FIFA Rank = 77
1st ranking date = August 1993
FIFA max = 39
FIFA max date = October 2004
FIFA min = 139
FIFA min date = July 1996
Elo Rank = 57
Elo max = 24
Elo max date = December 1982
Elo min = 86
Elo min date = February 2006
Nickname = Lions of Mesopotamia
Asood Al Rafidain (اسود الرافدين)
Iraq Football Association
Confederation = AFC (
Coach = Flagicon|Brazil
Jorvan Vieira| Asst Manager = Flagicon|Iraq Rahim Hamid| Captain = Younis Mahmoud| Most caps = Hussein Saeed(126)
Top scorer =
Hussein Saeed(63)| Home Stadium = Al Shaab Stadium(Baghdad)
Capacity = 45,000
Official website =
First game = Flagicon|Morocco Morocco 3 - 3 Iraq Flagicon|Iraq|1924 (
Lebanon; October 19, 1957)
Largest win = Flagicon|Iraq|1963| Iraq 10 - 1 Bahrain Flagicon|Bahrain (
Baghdad, Iraq; April 5, 1966)
| Largest loss = Flagicon|Turkey Turkey 7 - 1 Iraq Flagicon|Iraq|1959 (
Turkey; December 6, 1959)
World cup apps = 1
World cup first = 1986
World cup best = Round 1, 1986
Confederations cup apps =
Confederations cup first =
Confederations cup best =
Regional name = AFC Asian Cup
Regional cup apps = 6
Regional cup first = 1972
Regional cup best = Champions, 2007
The Iraqi national football team ( _ar. منتخب العراق لكرة القدم) is the national team of
Iraqand is controlled by the Iraq Football Association. They are the reigning champions of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Iraqi football reached a peak in the 1970s and 1980s - Iraq qualified for the
1986 World Cupand the Olympic Games3 times in Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul. Iraq also won the 1982 Asian Games, the Arab Nations Cup4 times, the Gulf Cup of Nations3 times, and the 1985 Pan Arab Games fielding a B team. Iraq finished in 4th place in the 1976 AFC Asian Cup- the last Asian Cup Iraq would participate in until (1996).
The Dark Generation
During the rule of the government of
Saddam Hussein, Saddam's son, Uday Hussein, was in charge of the Iraqi Olympic Committee and, by extension, the national football team. Under Uday's leadership, motivational lectures to the team included threats to cut off players' legs, while missed practices resulted in prison time and losses resulted in flogging with electric cable or baths in raw sewage, if penalites or an open goal was missed or own goals were scored then that person would have their feet whipped with thorns. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/04/19/1050172797737.html Theage.com.au - The torturing] ] After the Gulf War, Iraq was banned from participating in the Asian Gamesand in most Arab competitions. In 1996 Iraq was ranked 139th in the world, the worst FIFA ranking in Iraqi football history.
Post war and successes
war in Iraq, the football team continued playing international tournaments with good results. In 2004, Iraq reached the quarterfinals of the 2004 AFC Asian Cup, as they had done in 1996and 2000, and they then qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics. Iraq defeated Portugal, Costa Rica, and Australia, finally coming 4th, winning the fair play award, and by the end of the year the 2004 AFC team of the year award. In 2005, Iraq won the Gold medal of the West Asian Games. In 2006, Iraq Olympic team won the Silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games. In 2007, Iraq won the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, and became the 2007 AFC team of the year, Al-Ahram's 2007 Arab team of the year, World Soccer Magazine's 2007 World team of the year [ [http://www.worldsoccer.com/Awards/index.php Worldsoccer.com - 2007 World team of the year] ] and were nominated for the Prince of Asturias Award. [ [http://www.kooora.com/default.aspx?showarticle=25138&obj=1000305 Kooora.com - Iraq nominated for the 2007 prince of Asturias award] ] . As a result of winning the 2007 Asian Cup, Iraq qualified for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
May 26, 2008, FIFA provisionally suspended the Iraq Football Associationfrom competition for one year, following a decision by the Iraqi government to disband the country's national sports federations. [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5itwDXGzhxKd9ukIANfo4S8vZkaaQD90T8JS80 FIFA provisionally suspends Iraq] , Associated Press, May 26, 2008.] However the decision was overturned by FIFA on May 29, 2008, since the Iraqi government reversed its earlier decision in dissolving the Iraq Football Association. [ [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/05/29/1211654201135.html Socceroos qualifier against Iraq to proceed] , The Age, May 29, 2008.]
Home and Difficulties
Iraq played their home games on neutral territory in the 80s due to the
Iraq-Iran war, but still qualified to the 1986 World Cupand the Olympic Games3 times in Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul. In qualification for the 2002 World Cup, Iraq played at home against Iran, Bahrain, and Thailand in the Al Shaab Stadiumin Baghdad. Saudi Arabia refused to play against the nation, protesting the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Since 2003, the war in Iraqhas forced Iraq to play their home matches in Jordan, Syria, Qataror the UAE for security reasons, leading to significant transportation difficulties.
The home kit is white with black trim and the away kit is green with white trim. The trim runs from the collar down the shoulders and arms. The Iraq national football team is currently sponsored by
=World Cup record=
Iraqis were the winners of the 2007 Asian Cup, defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final in
Jakartacourtesy of a second half goal headed by Younis Mahmoud. As a result, Iraq will compete in the Confederations Cup in 2009 in South Africa, with the high possibility of a match against the United States, as both countries have qualified (seven of the past eight Confederations Cup tournaments had the North American champions and the Asian champions face each other in the first round).
=Olympic Games record=
col-2Asian Games record
West Asian Gamesrecord Afro-Asian Cup of Nationsrecord
2007 Asian Cuppenalty shoot out against South Korea is considered a draw on this record.
Iraqi Football Associationhas dissolved the national soccer team and dismissed the coach on June 26, 2008. The Iraqi Football Associationare to appoint a new coach, who will choose a new brand of Iraqi players. However it is stated that current members could make the new roster. [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iTnCuTPKHE6kAL4kVqhqYzc9qqqQD91HQCLO0 Iraqi association dissolves soccer team] ]
=FIFA Youth World Cup record=
* Abbas Obeid - "retired"
Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail
Adnan Derjal- "retired"
Ahmed Radhi- "retired"
Ammo Baba- "retired"
Basil Gorgis- "retired"
Douglas Aziz- "retired"
Falah Hassan- "retired"
Habib Jaafar- "retired"
Hawar Mulla Mohammed
Hussein Saeed- "retired"
Karim Saddam- "retired"
Karim Mohammed Allawi- "retired"
Khalil Mohammed Allawi- "retired"
Laith Hussein- "retired"
Mejbel Fartoos- "retired"
Raad Hammoudi- "retired"
Thamer Yousif- "retired"
Youra Eshaya- "retired"
* Iraq hold the Asian record for having scored in 27 consecutive matches between 1989 and 2001. [ fifa.com: [http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/preliminaries/asia/standings/group=250437/analysis.html Aussies face tough test] ]
* [http://www.football-iraq.net football-iraq.net/ ]
* [http://www.iraq-football.net iraq-football.net/ ]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/iraqfc freewebs.com/Iraqfc]
* [http://www.iraqfc.webs.com iraqfc.webs.com]
* [http://www.niiis.com National & International Iraqi Information of Soccer]
* [http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=irq/index.html Iraqi national team on FIFA.com]
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