Iraq national football team

Iraq National Football Team

National Football Team
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Iraq national football team

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The Iraqi national football team () represents Iraq in international football and is controlled by the Iraq Football Association. They won the 2007 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup tournament.


The Golden Generation

Iraqi football reached a peak in the 1970s and 1980s – Iraq qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and 3 times for the Olympic Games in Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul. Iraq also won the 1982 Asian Games, the Arab Nations Cup 4 times, the Gulf Cup of Nations 3 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. After the Gulf War, Iraq was banned from participating in the Asian Games and 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

Despite the war in Iraq, the...
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