This is the man to lead Iraqi football


The Iraqi media is all ceremoniously congregating together in unison plotting the character assassination of FA president (dissolved) and FA presidential candidate Najih Humoud. But what of his right-hand man, Abdul-Khaliq Masoud ‘Al-Mulla’. They have kept quiet on that front, but he was involved with the Iraqi FA since the days of Uday, much like once-hated Hussein Saeed and the now reviled and despised Najih Humoud and was only brought into the post-2003 football association because of his Kurdish links.

Al-Mulla the biggest loogie in Iraq, a person that will give thousands of explanations of one single incident depending who he is talking to (to turn everything to his advantage). Every decision made under the administrations of Hussein Saeed and Najih Humoud, Al-Mulla was 100% behind, but when he saw that Najih Humoud’s mandate to rule the FA would be annulled by CAS, he turned against his president and attempted to distance himself from his former friend. He quickly jumped ship.

Prior to all this, Al-Mulla had conspired with Najih Humoud to turn on their president during the 2011 elections, Najih was voted as the new president, and Al-Mulla his vice president.

It seems the cigar-puffing Al-Mulla, the former treasurer of the FA under Hussein Saeed, is now favourite to claim the presidency unchallenged, but this is not because of his leadership qualities or administrational experience (lack of), it’s only because so many Iraqi sports personalities fear for their own name, (Falah Hassan, Ahmed Radhi, Raad Hammoudi etc.) than to try and aide Iraqi football from this crisis it’s in.

Over the past decade, the calibre and qualities of the people leading Iraqi football have been watered down, first it was former Iraqi international player Hussein Saeed, then Iraq and Al-Najaf coach Najih Humoud, and now we may have Abdul-Khaliq Masoud with a diploma in physical education from the institute Mualameen Al-Markezi and according to himself a former player at Arbil (yes, football player not Zurkhaneh, the ancient Persian style of wrestling),  so what next an amoeba for FA president or will that be an improvement?

Where did it all go so wrong? When will we stop cheering and supporting flawed and feckless personalities that will not bring us forward?  It may have to get worse before it gets any better.

It looks like some of the people placing an X next to Al-Mulla’s name at the ballot box on April 20 will be getting free flights as part of the FA’s tourism administration to fly around the world on the FA’s account while it complains it has no money in its budget to fly the players to matches abroad or buy sportswear or footwear.

In May of 2004, when the FA elections were held, numerous high-profile candidates stood down claiming that a section of the FA had worked to pre-determine the result of the elections, former Iraqi captain, the late Abid Kadhim publicly stated this on Iraqi tv, and so did Samir Kadhim, Raad Hammoudi and Ahmed Radhi, the presidents of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Shurta and Al-Zawraa.

So Hussein Saeed and his two assistants, Najih Humoud and Abdul-Khaliq Masoud, won in 2004 and have kept control until this day. Hussein Saeed never picked Najih and Al-Mulla by chance; they formed the bulk of the votes, with the southern bloc and the northern bloc (mainly Kurdish), with Hussein gaining the rest from his own support. The other candidates knew this and backed down from the elections at the last moment, knowing all this (and knowing they had no chance).

So lets hope Al-Mulla is the last to lead Iraqi football from Uday’s school of thought, and also to the Iraqi sportsmen that fear more for their own names that Iraqi football, Hussein Saeed “Klawchy”, Najih Humoud “Loogi 1” and Abdul-Khaliq Masoud “Loogi 2” may play ‘dirty’ but they know how to play the game. Time to play their game and win.

Things have to change, these people don’t help improve football in Iraq, and they make a living off its reputation. No gheera in Iraqi football just words to deceive the masses.  Hussein Saeed, Najih Humoud and Al-Mulla, not the kind of people you would call friends or the kind of individuals you could depend or trust, each one out for each self, backstabbers and thieves that have made a lot of money on the back of Iraqi football.

Who is better, Najih or Al-Mulla? They’re part of the same rotten production line. It’s like someone asking you if you would like to die in a car crash or a plane crash,  same result, the end will be death.

However with Najih and Al-Mulla, they will give you hope of living and then snatch it away, and then give some more hope, and take it away at the last minute, as they have done over and over for the past decade with their tireless statements to the media over one thing or other (to keep the fans guessing and on their side) . The Iraqi fans cluelessly take the bait every time. There was the Zico saga, ‘he’s coming to Baghdad, he’s not, he’s in Doha, he’s not’, or a friendly has been organised with a top football nation and then cancelled or the FIFA ban on playing home internationals which the FA uses to claim that it’s doing something to overturn, but in truth it has no say in because Baghdad is no more stable than it was last year.  The countless statements of a training schedule for the national side with a friendly matches announced, only to find out it was cancelled. All false hopes or downright lies. All giving you a feeling of a slow death when you wish for a quick execution.

Picture a car going round and round a roundabout, that’s Iraq and its people, going round and round in circles, direction-less, pointless, rudderless, year after year, decade after decade,  generation after generation, first it was our grandparents, then our parents, now us and next our children. Before you notice what has happened, they end up being wasted lives.  And for what? What progress have we seen or will we see?

In 50 years, with the current work of our ‘beloved’ leaders (of all sects and religions) we Iraqis could be praying for the days of Saddam and Uday to return, this is what I would call ‘eeb‘ (‘shameful’) on our leaders, like the shameful silence compliance of the masses.  Protest, strike or make your voice heard, because this life will not be worth anything if its lived on its knees, without any dissent or unified fightback, we will be continually led by people who are not worthy or qualified to do so. Al-Mulla a leader? Haha, wallah mahzala.

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