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Reuters: Soccer Win Exposes Iraqi Failures

From the deep thinkers at Reuters:

Iraq’s soccer success exposes politicians’ failure

Tue Jul 31, 2007

By Mussab Al-Khairalla

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – If 11 young men can instill national pride and a sense of unity by playing soccer, Iraqis are wondering why 275 politicians elected to steer Iraq to a brighter future cannot achieve the same result.

Iraq’s wildly celebrated victory in the Asian Cup on Sunday provided a stark contrast to lawmakers who appear hopelessly deadlocked over legislation designed to promote national reconciliation.

School guard Zuhair Mohammed, 35, spent half his salary this month on Iraqi soccer jerseys, flags and music CDs about a team containing Shi’ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish players.

“I hope the unity, strength and courage of the team can inspire the politicians to stop pursuing personal ambitions for the general interest,” Mohammed said.

“But I’m not raising my hopes.”

The soccer triumph was even more remarkable because players had only two months to come together under a foreign coach and had to endure logistical mishaps as well as the death of the team physiotherapist in a bombing weeks before the first match.

Two of the team’s top players had relatives murdered before the tournament in the sectarian mayhem engulfing their country…

Rafi Abu Hayder echoed the feelings of many when he said Iraqis were fed up with the performance of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government and it should follow the example of soccer players like Younis Mahmoud and Hawar Mullah Mohammad.

The politicians have failed to bring us happiness for four years now,” clothes shop owner Hayder told Reuters.

“I’m sure if there were elections now, people would elect Hawar as president instead of (Jalal) Talabani and Younis instead of Maliki.”

The players had their share of disagreements but buried their differences for the common good, something many Iraqis say cannot be said of the government.

After a row between Arab striker and captain Mahmoud and Kurdish midfielder Mohammad during the first match against Thailand, there were media reports of a rift in the team.

But when Mohammad scored a goal against Australia, he ran straight to Mahmoud to kiss him on the cheek

Are these people children?

Crazy, murderous children? 

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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