George Dubya Bush once said ’fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.’ It seems Hakim Shaker has fooled everyone even the AFC panel when they selected him as one of the best Asian coaches of 2013.
His nomination comes on the back of the great performances of the Iraqi Under 20 side at the 2013 World Youth Cup, the players finished in fourth place, the best ever finish for the country.
So if you consider this achievement, then Hakim Shaker should be nominated and should be named the winner, but lets scratch under the surface, and see who this guy is.
His side features a selection of supposed ‘youth’ players who have used forged documents to alter their true ages and apply for passports to play at youth level, some have even change their names. So if this is true, and as time goes by these allegations are starting to become clearer, can the fourth position be considered as an achievement.
This has been the mantra of the Iraqi FA from the inception of the youth team or Montakhab Al-Shabab from 1973 so to Iraqis this is not something that is new to them or its ‘youth’ football team.
Apart from the integrity of the man, which is dropping like the rain that is drowning regions in the country, there are allegations that Iraq U-20 player Ali Adnan had handed the coach a payment of $50,000 US from his transfer to Turkish club Rizespor this summer, and that prior to the World Youth Cup, one player alleged that he was asked by the coach to pay $10,000 US to make the team.
Asia maybe a vast continent, but the AFC should at least nominate people on merit, and while Hakim Shaker has fooled Asia and the World, the Iraqi public is starting to wake up to who Hakim Shaker really is.