The Iraq NT project


Some years ago, I began gathering information on the Iraqi team’s international matches mainly to compile goals and caps records of players. At first my records were only basic, with goalscorers and team line-ups with the inclusion of substitutes however from 2003 and after seeing the Iraqi Olympic Committee building being bombed by US warplanes, and thinking to myself that historic documents at the building would have gone up in flames and lost forever (however my friend reassured me that the Iraqi FA would not have had documents of any historic importance), I decided to attempt to compile a list of complete and detailed information on Iraq’s matches from 1951, something that has never been done before.

The aim is to have something like this http://www.rsssfbrasil.com/sel/national.htm

When I first started, I did not even have a full list of matches. Majority of the information has come from non-Iraqi sources such as people like Hyung-Jin Yoon “Yan”, Asghar Zarei, Neil Morrison, Gautam Roy, Poosit Srirojanapinyo, Hamdan Saied and many others while the recent details of matches have come from watching matches on satellite channels. I have also been working with members of Niiiis.com and Kooora forums, though work has been slow.

For decades this subject had been neglected because of over 50 years of revolutions, military coups and wars, which made it difficult for journalists to document history without having to tow a political line. Tariq Mohammed Salih, the nephew of Iraq leader Abdul-Karim Qasim was one of the first victims, a footballer that was executed because his uncle was the Iraqi leader, though there was little mention of who he was and how he died in any newspapers or books. His younger brother Muayad, a footballer himself, was imprisoned on several occasions after the bloody 1963 revolution but managed to build a career in the game and was even called into the national team after public pressure however the coach of Iraq at the time, refused to play him because in his own words ‘he hated his uncle’. The same can be said for another national player of the 60s, Mohammed Najim, known as Mohammed Shaita. He was a childhood friend of Saddam Hussein and was killed in an ‘incident’ at a cafe in 1969. There are little details of him or how he was killed; this may have been because he was a member of a gang of pick-pocketing youths that included a young Saddam. Up until the end of Saddam’s regime in 2003, the name of Falah Hassan, one of the most talented footballers of his generation was wiped from newspapers and magazines, even the Iraqi league goalscoring list from 1974 in the daily sports newspaper Al-Baath Al-Riyadhi, the entry for the season 1978-1979 was left empty, this was the same season that Falah Hassan scored 7 goals. His goals were even banned from being shown on TV. The reason for this was that Falah had left Iraq in 1991 and had fallen out with Saddam’s eldest son Uday. A close friend and team-mate of Falah’s, another national player in the 1970s, Bashar Rasheed was executed by the Baathist regime in 1978 for holding membership to the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) while serving in the Iraqi army. During the 1960s, two of Iraq’s captains Jabar Rashak and Abid Kadhim had the death penalty hanging over their heads while in trying to prevent a serious diplomatic fall-out between the Iraqi and Lebanese regimes in 1957, photos of clashes between Iraqi and Lebanese sportsmen at the Pan Arab Games were censored and only released in 1985.

With the age of the computer and the internet, researching has become a bit easier however even today Iraqi international matches are not well documented while the local media lacks the dedication and professionalism of their peers in other countries and information on one match can usually depend on the work of one individual, one example is a friendly in Doha against Lebanon in late 2011 which was not televised, there were only two journalists at the game and not one wrote a detailed account on the game and most of the details I managed to obtain were from fans at the match. After this game, I decided to contact FIFA to see if they would help and they told me they would be able to help me for some matches from the year starting 1987 however this will take some time.

Over the years, it has been a matter of waiting for information and I have even begun to write about the national team, its players and coaches. The Iraq Football Association itself has never kept records of matches nor does any newspaper in Iraq keep archives because of the instability in the country over the decades, this has been left to individuals. Since the end of the 2003 War Iraqis have experienced a little more freedom in the media, there has been an appetite for researching into the past especially Iraq’s own football history. The first book on Iraqi football history was written by Ismail Mohammed, a former coach of Iraq in 1957, who had worked at the Youth & Sports Ministry in the 70s using resources from there to gather information on the origins of football in Mesopotamia, the book was published in 1990 with writer Samir Al-Shukarji entitled “The illustrated history of Iraqi football from 1914-1945”. Ismail Mohammed had hoped to write another book on history from 1945 to 1980 however after the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War that idea was shelved. In 2005, Dhia Al-Munshi published only the second book on Iraqi football history entitled “Iraqi Football Encyclopedia: Chico.. Jamoli… and football in Iraq”, this book was a great help however the details in the book were far from complete.

From the start of 2012, I decided that I would try my best to finally complete this project, contacting various organisations and individuals and have begun to post recent matches on a blog https://iraqsport.wordpress.com/

Any help would be great, old newspaper match reports, video tapes etc.

At Changsha Helong Sports Center, Changsha, 31.621
CHINA 1-0 IRAQ [HT 0-0]
Yu Dabao 93’
CHINA:  1 Zeng Cheng; 3 Sun Xiang, 4 Zhao Peng, 5 Zhang Linpeng, 23 Li Xuepeng, 7 Zhao Xuri (19 Chen Tao 65’),10 Zheng Xhi [c], 21 Yu Hai. 13 Sun Ke (20 Yu Hanchao 75’), 18 Gao Lin, , 9 Yang Xu (11 Yu Dabao 75’).
COACH: José Antonio Camacho
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri; 23 Walid Salim, 6 Ali Adnan, 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 14 Salam Shaker; 8 Saif Salman, 21 Ahmed Abbas, 11 Humam Tariq, 9 Ahmed Yasin (3 Ali Bahjat 46’), 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra (4 Khaldoun Ibrahim 86’), 10 Younis Mahmoud (15 Ali Hussein Rahema 72’).
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
Referee: Benjamin Williams (Australia)
Linesmen: Matthew Cream (Australia) & Hakan Anaz (Australia)
Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett (Australia)
Cautions: Zhang Linpeng 8, Sun Ke 12, Ali Adnan 20, Saif Salman 45 (+2), Ali Adnan 45 (+3), Zhao Xuri 45 (+4), Salam Shaker 90 (+4).
Sending Off: Ali Adnan 45 (+3).
Note: On the bench 1 Jalal Hassan, 3 Ali Bahjat, 4 Khaldoun Ibrahim, 5 Ahmed Fadhil, 7 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed, 12 Mohammed Hamed, 13 Amir Sabah, 15 Ali Rahema, 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 18 Amjad Radhi, 19 Mustafa Nadhim, 20 Dhargham Ismail.

50,000
Iraq 2-1 Syria
Younis Mahmoud 52, Ali Hussein Rahema 90 (+5); Omar Khrebin 80
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri (1 Jalal Hassan 46’); 14 Salam Shaker, 15 Ali Rahema, 23 Walid Salim, 6 Ali Adnan; 5 Ahmed Fadhil (11 Humam Tariq 76’), 8 Saif Salman (4 Khaldoun Ibrahim 84’), 21 Ahmed Abbas (2 Ahmed Ibrahim 46’), 9 Ahmed Yasin (17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra 46’), 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 10 Younis Mahmoud.
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
SYRIA: 26 Mahmoud Al-Yousef (22 Taha Mousa 63’) 2 Ahmed Salih, 18 Abdul-Kadder Dekka (5 Ali Diab 64’), 4 Hamadi Al-Masri (3 Muayad Ajan 65’), 13 Ahmed Khalasi; 8 Zaher Medani, 20 Hamed Mido, 7 Burhan Sahiouni (6 Mahmoud Al-Mawas 52’), 11 Uday Abdul-Jaffal (17 Omar Khrebin 52’), 19 Ahmed Al-Douni, 10 Sanharib Malki [c] (9 Mahir Al-Sayed 66’).
COACH: Hossam-Al-Din Al-Sayed
Referee: Mohammed Arafah (Jordan)
Linesmen: Faisal Mohammed Awad Shwair (Jordan) & Abed-Al-Rohman Aqel (Jordan)
Fourth Official: Ali Sabah Uday (Iraq)
Cautions: Ahmed Salih 83’.
Note: 1 Jalal Hassan, 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 3 Ali Bahjat, 4 Khaldoun Ibrahim, 7 Hamadi Ahmed, 11 Humam Tariq, 12 Mohammed Hamed, 13 Amir Sabah, 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra, 18 Amjad Radhi, 19 Mustafa Nadhim, 20 Dhargham Ismail, 24 Nabil Sabah, 27 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed.

15,000
Iraq 0-1 Liberia
Marcus Macauley 49
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri; 23 Walid Salim (19 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed 58’), 3 Ali Bahjat, 15 Ali Rahema, 6 Ali Adnan; 4 Khaldoun Ibrahim (14 Osama Ali 46’), 21 Saad Abdul-Amir (8 Saif Salman 46’), 11 Humam Tariq (13 Haidar Sabah 66’), 5 Nashat Akram [c], 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra, 9 Mustafa Karim (18 Amjad Radhi 46; 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim 78’)
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
LIBERIA: 1 Nathaniel Sherman; 2 Marcus Macauley, 5 Solomon Wisseh [c], 13 Alexander Began “Alex” Karmo, 12 Trokon Zeon (23 Francis Jaballah 81’); 4 Abel Burmah (15 Mohammed Varney 69’), 6 Abraham Barshall (19 Eddie Wulue 88’), 7 Sam ‘Chaplay’ Kollie (21 Alvin Macconel 83’), 11 Aloysius Samujaelah; 8 Herron Scarla Berrian, 22 Prince Saydee (17 Samuel Thompson 89’).
COACH: Frank Wontee “Jericho” Nagbe
Referee: Shadi Asfour (Syria)
Linesmen: Anas Subeh (Syria) & Hussam Al-Hamad Al-Frih (Syria)
Fourth Official:  Falah Abid (Iraq)
Cautions: Abraham Barshall 79’, Eddie Wulue 90’ (+5)
Note: 12 Mohammed Hamed, 1 Jalal Hassan, 20 Muthanna Khalid, 7 Hamadi Ahmed, 13 Dhargham Ismail, 2 Hardi Saimand.

Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, 18.300
Oman 1-0 Iraq
Ismail Suliman Ashour Al-Ajmi 45 (+4)
OMAN: 18 Faiz Issa Khadom Al-Rashidi; 2 Mohammed Salih Ali Al-Musalami, 13 Abdul-Salam Amer Jumaa Al-Mukhaini, 17 Hassan Yousef Mudhafar Al-Gheilani [c], 6 Raed Ibrahim Salih, 8 Eid Mohammed Eid Al-Farsi (Ali Salim Obaid Bait Al-Nahar 90(+4)), 12 Ahmed Mubarak Obaid Al-Mahaijri, 10 Qasim Saeed Sanjour Hardan (4 Ali Hilal Saous Al-Jaberi 71’), 11 Saad Suhail Jumaa Al-Mukhaini; 15 Ismail Suliman Ashour Al-Ajmi (Hassan Rabih Suwaidan Al-Hosni 88’), 9 Abdul-Aziz Mubarak Humaid Al-Maqbali.
COACH: Paul Le Guen (France)
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri; 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 14 Salam Shaker, 15 Ali Hussein Rahema, 6 Ali Adnan; 20 Muthanna Khalid (18 Amjad Radhi 86’), 8 Saif Salman (9 Mustafa Karim 58), 11 Humam Tariq (21 Saad Abdul-Amir 54’), 5 Nashat Akram, 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra, 10 Younis Mahmoud [c].
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
Referee: Kim Dong-Jin (South Korea)
Linesmen: Jeong Hae-Sang (South Korea) & Yang Byoung-Eun (South Korea)
Fourth Official: Kim Jong-Hyeok (South Korea)
Cautions: Abdul-Salam Amer Jumaa Al-Mukhaini 36’, Faiz Issa Khadom Al-Rashidi 82’, Hassan Yousef Mudhafar Al-Gheilani 83’, Nashat Akram 84’.
Note: On the bench 1 Jalal Hassan, 3 Ali Bahjat, 4 Khaldoun Ibrahim, 7 Hamadi Ahmed, 9 Mustafa Karim, 12 Mohammed Hamed, 13 Osama Ali, 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 18 Amjad Radhi, 19 Dhargham Ismail, 21 Saad Abdul-Amir, 23 Walid Salim.

Grand Hamad Stadium, Al-Arabi SC, Doha, 1.100
Iraq 0-1 Japan
Shinji Okazaki 89′
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri; 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 6 Ali Adnan, 23 Walid Salim, 15 Ali Rahema; 19 Dhargham Mahdi, 21 Saad Abdul-Amir (16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim 85’), 7 Hamadi Ahmed (3 Ali Bahjat 79’), 8 Saif Salman, 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra, 10 Younis Mahmoud [c].
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
JAPAN: 1 Eiji Kawashima; 2 Masahiko Inoha (20 Hideto Takahashi 90 +4), 13 Hajimi Hosogai, 15 Yasuyuki Konno, 21 Hiroki Saka. 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 7 Yasuhito Endo [c], 8 Hiroshi Kiyotake (14 Kengo Nakamura 67’), 9 Shinji Okazaki, 10 Shinji Kagawa, 11 Mike Havenaar (18 Ryoichi Maeda 70’).
COACH: Alberto Zaccheroni
Referee: Valentin Kovalenko (Uzbekistan)
Linesmen: Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan) & Mamur Saidkasimov (Uzbekistan)
Fourth Official: Vladislav Tseytlin (Uzbekistan)
Cautions: Alaa Abdul-Zahra 71’, Alaa Abdul-Zahra 82’, Ali Rahema 88’.
Sending Off: Alaa Abdul-Zahra 82’.
Note: On the bench 1 Jalal Hassan, 3 Ali Bahjat, 4 Hardi Saimand, 5 Nashat Akram, 9 Mustafa Karim, 11 Humam Tariq, 12 Mohammed Hamed, 13 Osama Ali, 14 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed, 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 18 Amjad Radhi, 20 Muthanna Khalid.

ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 80.523
Australia 1-0 Iraq
Joshua Blake “Josh” Kennedy 83’
AUSTRALIA: 1 Mark Schwarzer; 2 Lucas Edward Neill [c], 5 Mark Milligan, 6 Saša Ognenovski, 17 Matthew Graham ‘Matt’ McKay, 8 Luke Wilkshire, 11 Thomas Michael ‘Tommy’ Oar, 23 Mark Bresciano, 4 Timothy Filiga ‘Tim’ Cahill (9 Joshua Blake “Josh” Kennedy 77’), 10 Robert Thomas ‘Robbie’ Kruse (7 Archibald Gerald ‘Archie’ Thompson 78’), 14 Brett Trevor Holman (20 Tomas Petar “Tom” Rogić 61’).
COACH: Holger Osieck (Germany)
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri [c]; 2 Ahmed Ibrahim, 3 Ali Bahjat, 23 Walid Salim, 6 Ali Adnan; 4 Khaldoun Ibrahim, 8 Saif Salman (13 Osama Ali 78’),  21 Saad Abdul-Amir, 11 Humam Tariq (7 Hamadi Ahmed 74’), 19 Dhargham Ismail (14 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed 66’), 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim.
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
Referee: Alireza Aghani (Iran)
Linesmen:  Hassan Kamranifar (Iran) & Reza Sokhandan (Iran)
Fourth Official: Saeid Mozaffari (Iran)
Cautions: Walid Salim 25’, Saša Ognenovski 69’, Humam Tariq 72’, Saif Salman 76’, Ali Adnan 84’.
Note: On the bench 1 Jalal Hassan, 7 Hamadi Ahmed, 9 Mustafa Karim, 13 Osama Ali, 14 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed, 15 Hardi Saimand, 17 Haidar Sabah, 18 Amjad Radhi, 20 Muthanna Khalid.

Brøndby Stadion, Copenhagen, 4.778
Iraq 0-6 Chile
Eugenio Esteban Mena Reveco 7’, Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez 21’, 28’, Jean André Emanuel Beausejour Coliqueo 36’, 45+1, Ángelo José Henríquez Iturra 80’.
IRAQ: 22 Nour Sabri [c]; 14 Salam Shaker, 5 Ali Faiz, 6 Ali Adnan, 11 Hulgard Mulla Mohammed (23 Mohammed Jabar Rabat 14’); 20 Mahdi Kamil (15 Ali Osama 46’), 8 Saif Salman, 21 Saad Abdul-Amir (19 Dhargham Ismail 77’), 17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra (13 Ali Qasim 83’), 7 Hamadi Ahmed (9 Ahmed Yasin 46’), 10 Amjad Radhi (16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim 46’).
COACH: Vladimir Petrović (Serbia)
CHILE: 1 Claudio Andrés Bravo Muñoz [c], 2 Eugenio Esteban Mena Reveco, 4 Mauricio Aníbal Isla Isla (18 Gonzalo Alejandro Jara Reyes 61’), 13 José Manuel Rojas Bahamondes, 17 Gary Alexis Medel Soto; 15 Jean André Emanuel Beausejour Coliqueo (5 Bryan Martín Rabello Mella 61’), 20 Charles Mariano Aránguiz Sandoval (16 Felipe Alejandro Gutiérrez Leiva 61’), 8 Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo (7 David Marcelo Pizarro Cortés 69’),  21 Marcelo Alfonso Díaz Rojas (6 Carlos Emilio Carmona Tello 72’); 10 Alexis Alejandro Sánchez Sánchez (19 Antenor Júnior Fernándes da Silva Vitoria 61’), 22 Ángelo José Henríquez Iturra.
COACH: Jorge Luis Sampaoli Moya (Argentina)
Referee: Michael Johansen (Denmark)
Linesmen: Derya Oğuz (Denmark) & Henrik Larsen (Denmark)
Fourth Official: Lars Christoffersen (Denmark)
Cautions: None.
Note: 12 Mohammed Hamed, 23 Mohammed Jabar Rabat, 4 Mustafa Nadhim, 19 Dhargham Ismail, 9 Ahmed Yasin, 13 Ali Qasim, 15 Ali Osama, 16 Mohanad Abdul-Rahim, 18 Farhan Shakur. There was a minute silence for former Chile International and 1974 World Cup midfielder Alfonso Lara, who passed away a day before the game.