The Iraqi FA’s stance to expatriate players in the national team is in complete contrast to the steady flow of foreigners, now plying their trade in their league. FIFA may regard Iraq unsafe to host any home internationals, but that has not stopped players from being lured by the Iraqi dinar.
The clubs in the league now have players from almost every continent, last season it was a Nigerian trio thrilling the local jumhour at Al-Najaf Sports Club, however this coming season their fans will be entertained by a trio of Brazilians wearing the blue of the city’s club. A fourth Brazilian ex-Atlético Madrid B attacking midfielder Vitor Huvos is expected to sign for the club in the next few days.
There are Cameroonians, a Ugandan, and a host of Syrian and Egyptian escaping the troubles in their own countries.
And it is not only players, but also coaches, with Brazilian and Portuguese managers in the Iraqi capital at Al-Shurta and Al-Karkh and only recently Liverpool’s former fitness coach Gonzalo Rodríguez García signed a contract with Arbil, based in the relatively safer autonomous Kurdish region.