Baghdad FC: Iraq's Football Stor: A Hidden History of Sport and Tyranny Paperback
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With the fall of Iraq in 2003, the despotic reign of Uday Hussein, Saddams son and sports minister, came to an end. For 19 years he had arrested, tortured, and murdered footballers, athletes, officials, and journalists. Yet against these odds, the Iraqi national team has long ranked in the worlds top 40. Key to Iraqs footballing success is the story of Ammo Baba, the Arab worlds Pele or Stanley Matthews, whose playing and coaching career spans 50 years. Ammo will be one of the many characters that Simon Freeman befriends and follows as he uncovers a half-century of triumph and tragedy, together with officials, players, and sports journalists involved with the game they loved under the yoke of totalitarianism. He also assesses the team at the 2004 Olympics and in the run-up to the Asian and World Cups. What is the destiny of Iraqs game in a post-Saddam world, where the US military park its tanks on the national stadium?