Football in Iraq
Iraqi football has a long history and the game itself is extremely popular. The national team has qualified for many continental championships, and even reached the Final of the Asian Games football tournament. Iraq have also twice sent a representative XI to compete in the final competitions of the FIFA World Youth Championship (1977 Tunisia; 1989 Saudi Arabia). In 2002, Iraq won the West Asian Championship, although the country was firmly in the grip of political turmoil. This triumph remains Iraqi football's greatest day to date. Countless Iraqi players have earned moves abroad, primarily to clubs in the Middle East. The current President of the association, Hussain Saeed, was also one of the best players to have emerged from Iraq. However, the wars of the last 15 years have unfortunately set the country back and reconstruction work will not be completed overnight. Having said that, football in Iraq has never died. People always tried, whenever possible, to play matches in the domestic and regional league championships. Against all odds the national teams sensational runned in the Asian Cup reaching the quarter finals in China in July 2004 and the Olympic Games in Athens in August 2004 where they reached the medal round and took the fourth place! People back home heralded such success stories as the first shotzs of recovery of Iraq football.
The first Goal Project
On 1 May 2003 the Goal Bureau added Iraq to its list of beneficiary countries. Following inspection visits in June and August 2003 priority was given to the construction of a new association headquarters and, in a second phase, a training centre. The project proposal for the new headquarters was approved by the Goal Bureau at a meeting in October 2003. Owing to the ravages of war and the sharp rise in costs across the country, it became necessary to increase the previous budget, which the Goal Bureau endorsed on 7 November 2005. The new centre of Iraqi football will be built on land made available by the government in a part of Baghdad that has been reserved for sport. The costs of building the association headquarters will be met from the Goal project and FIFA's Financial Assistance Programme, while the technical centre will be funded by the Iraqi government.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Association headquarters in Baghdad
Project approved
15 October 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 USD 300,000 FAP USD 326,750 Total cost USD 1,026,750