Interesting Facts About Iraq’s Sports | thegameboss.info
Like Mullah Mohammed Omar (Taliban terrorist), Pol Pot (maoist dictator) and Fidel Castro Ruz (communist dictator), Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti was notorious for torturing sportsmen. During the 1998 Arab Games, Uday , Saddam Hussein´s son, threatened to make the Iraqi national soccer team pay the costs of the trip if they did not achieve good results. Who was Uday? He was president of the Iraqi Olympic Committe. Don Yaeger wrote in an article published in Sports Illustrated in March 2003, “Uday’s penchant for violence has long been an open secret among international athletic officials. Amnesty International reported in 2001 that Uday had ordered the hand of a security officer at his Olympic headquarters to be chopped off five years earlier, after the man was accused of stealing sports equipment that was missing (but later turned up). In 1997 FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, sent two investigators to Baghdad to question members of the Iraqi national team who’d allegedly had their feet caned by Uday’s henchmen after losing a World Cup qualifying match to Kazakhstan. The investigators spoke only to people whom Uday had selected. The result: a report exonerating Uday “.Abdul Wahid Aziz is a weightlifter from Iraq who won a bronze medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy.The Iraqi delegation participated in the 2006 Summer Asian Games held in Doha,Qatar, and won 2 silver and 1 bronze medals, placing the Iraqi team in 29th place out 45 countries and territories. For the first time since 1986, athletes from Iraq took part in an Asian Games. It was represented by eighty-six sports people in Doha. The national football team qualified for the Asian Games and the team surprised everyone when it reached the finals only to lose to the hosts by 1-0. The silver medallists were Mohammed Ali Karim, Younis Mahmoud, Usama Ali, Salam Shakir, Jassim Muhammad Haji, Karrar Jassim, Haidar Aboodi, Haidar Kaw, Ali Rehema, Ahmad Abd Ali, Muayad Khalid, Mostafa Karim, Alaa Abdul-Zahra, Ali Mansour Alwan, Samer Saeed, Haidar Sabah, Ali Khudhair, Mohammed Kassid and Mohammed Raheem.The 1976 Summer Olympics was boycotted by Iraq. However, an athlete had already competed before the boycott was officially announced. The Iraqi government objected to New Zealand´s participation on the grounds that their rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa.Iraq did not go to the Asian Games in 1990. Not surprisingly, the Asian Games took place without athletes from Iraq. This country was considered the aggressor of Gulf Persian war and as a result was excluded from participating.From 1979 to 2000, the Iraqi government made little contribution to the development of sport. Certainly, Haiti has more Olympic medals than Iraq-was one of the richest nations in the Third World in the 20th century.The Iraqi football team is sometimes called the “Brazil of Asia”. Why? This team is one of the Asia’s most successful. It won fourth place during the XXVIII Summer Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, in 2004. Iraq was the only Asian country in the finals. However, Iraq made history on July 29, 2007, when its team won the Asian Nations Cup. Using a nucleos of players from Athens´s 2004, they beat the three-times Asian champions (1984, 1988 and 1996) Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final held in Jakarta, Indonesia. In Jakarta, throughout the match, a sympathetic crowd of more than 60,000, which included thousands of Iraqi fans, chanted “Iraq ! Iraq! Iraqi flags hug from high in the stands and one large sign read, “Peace for Iraq”. It was one of the few unifying moments in the recent history of Iraq. The victory marked the first time in the tournament´s 51-year history that Iraq has won the Cup. General David H. Petraeus,congratulated the team members and called them “an example for all of Iraq: a team of Sunni, Shia and Kurd who overcame lots of adversity to achieve a common goal, and they did it by teamwork. On that day we were all Iraqi, too”.Iraq -it is about 3 times the size of Alabama- made its debut at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Great Britain. This country won its first Olympic medal at the 1960 Games- a bronze in weightlifting.The Iraqi Olympic team went to Spain to compete in the 1992 Summer Olympics Games. Nine athletes competed in 3 sports at the 1992 Games.The Arab country withdrew from the 1956 Olympics. The boycott was a protest against the Israeli invasion of the Suez Canal.Iraq qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City. It had to wait 56 years to finally play in a FIFA World Cup.The Iraqi government gives outstanding athletes special medals and monetary awards for excelling in sports. On returning home, each member of the triumphant football team -Asian champions- was rewarded with special prizes: $10,000 and a diplomatic passport.The Asian country sent 45 athletes to the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow,USSR (currently Russia). Like Benin, Libya, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Guyana, Iraq returned to the Summer Games after participating in the African-led boycott of the 1976 Olympic Games in Canada.Football is the most popular sport in Iraq. Football games draw huge crowds to stadiums in Baghdad (Iraq´s capital), Arbil, Mosul and other cities. Other popular sports in Iraq include wrestling, volleyball, taekwondo, athletics and basketball.Ahmed Raed defected from Iraq during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He was an Olympic weightlifter. Ahmed was given the honour of carrying his country´s flag in the opening ceremony of the Olympics.The Arab country did not compete in the Summer Olympic 15 times ( Athens-1896, Paris-1900, St.Louis-1904, London-1908, Stockholm-1912, Antwerp-1920, Paris-1924, Amsterdam-1928, Los Angeles-1932, Berlin-1936, London-1948, Helsinki-1952, Melbourne-1956, Munich-1972 and Montreal-1976).One of the most famous sportsmen in Iraqi history is Taffar Al Saffar. He won the gold medal in the 400-metre hurdles at the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran, Iran. The gold medal for Iraq was the first ever won by that country in Asian competition.The Iraqi team finished 20th at the FIVB Volleyball Men´s World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina`s capital.Younis Mahmoud is an Iraqi football icon. He is best known as the athlete who scored the winning goal for Iraq in the Asian Cup in 2007.The Asian country qualified for the FIFA World Youth Cup finals for the first time in 1977. The Iraqi players were each awarded a Soviet-made Lada by president Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr.