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Mar 9 12 11:24 AM

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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.

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 recent friendly in Doha against Lebanon late last year that 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 http://iraqsport.wordpress.com/

Any help would be great.
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#1 [url]

Mar 9 12 11:59 AM

Excellent news. Any help I can provide, just ask!

nor does any newspaper in Iraq keep archives

Do you know if there are libraries in any neighbouring countries (or further afield, e.g. USA, UK, France etc) which might have stored archives of Iraqi newspapers?

The British Library has some in its newspaper collection: http://explore.bl.uk

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#2 [url]

Mar 9 12 12:51 PM

nfm24 wrote:
Excellent news. Any help I can provide, just ask!

nor does any newspaper in Iraq keep archives

Do you know if there are libraries in any neighbouring countries (or further afield, e.g. USA, UK, France etc) which might have stored archives of Iraqi newspapers?

The British Library has some in its newspaper collection: http://explore.bl.uk


I have contacted a former writer for The Iraq Times, and I am waiting to see if he has any information. I remember Yan telling me a few years back that he looked through a few copies of the Baghdad Observer in the US however they did not include line-ups. However saying this, it might be worth having a look, I have read a few articles from both newspapers and they maybe useful for other details especially on dates, unofficial matches and players. Also there seems to have been some sort of media blackout during the early to mid 1950s in Iraq football, no details on league football (I think Iraq had a south, north and central/Baghdad league system) or any other matches. I have also contacted two surviving members of the 1951 team and hope to get some details from them also. I hope to have a profile on each of the 16 members.

A member of Kooora is working on matches from 1970-1979, the work is slow but if he manages to complete it, it will be worthwhile.

I even contacted Dubai Sports Channel to ask if they would send me Iraq's matches in the Gulf Cup (1976-198, which they have archived on tape. Though they said they couldn't send them to me, they were on an old format and needed to be changed, a process that would take alot of time and they said something about going against company policy. That would have helped a great deal, with over 20 matches.

The 1968 Olympic Games matches maybe available somewhere, I did managed to find details here and there though I recently noticed that some of the details from Dhia Al-Munshi's book maybe incorrect, especially the line-up for the last two matches.

Here is how many matches I am looking for (307 in total)

1951 3 Matches*
1957-1959 5 Matches
1960-1969 33 Matches
1970-1979 85 Matches
1980-1989 90 Matches
1990-1999 51 Matches
2000-2012 40 Matches (Only five matches I don't have Iraqi line-ups + subs, details from 2005 near perfect)

I currently have 241 out of 548 Matches on record
*There may have been a match played between Iraq and an RAF Habbaniya XI, though this match may have been the Baghdad XI. It was a warm-up match before they travelled to Basra and then to Izmir.

Just to note I do have details on some of the 307 matches I am looking for, but I am missing various information.

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#3 [url]

Mar 16 12 6:56 PM

I went to the British Library and looked at some issues of the Iraq Times and other newspapers.

I did manage to get some details

15/11/1959
LEBANON 0-3 IRAQ [HT 0-1]
SCORERS: Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 2' (1-0), Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 70' (2-0), Adil Abdullah 85' (3-0)

LEBANON: Samih Shatila; Houssamian, Itani, Onik, Yousef Yamout [c], Elias George, Mardek Chabarian, Levon Altonian, Ovsep, Samir Al-Addou, Michel Saad. (This is the line-up I got from Le Jour newspaper a day before the game.

The referee was mentioned as Jasmi Bachar from Turkey (however I think this maybe a mistake)

I also got differing goal times for the return game

IRAQ 8-0 LEBANON
SCORERS:

Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 5' (1-0), Adil Abdullah 17' (2-0), Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 27' (3-0), Adil Abdullah 40' (4-0), Adil Abdullah 50'(5-0), Tariq Mohammed Salih 58' (6-0), Adil Abdullah 85' (7-0), Tariq Mohammed Salih 88' (8-0) [Dhia Al-Munshi's book]

Iraq Times: Ammo Baba 4, between 82-90 (two goals), Adil Abdullah 15, 35, 50, 75, Tariq Mohammed (5th goal)
Other source: Ammo Baba (5[1], 82 [8]), Adil Abdullah (18 [2], 40 [3], 50[4], 75 [6]), Tariq Mohammed Salih (57 [5], 77 [7])

13/12/1959,
IRAQ 2-3 TURKEY [HT 1-1]
SCORERS: Ceyhun Güneş ' (0-1), Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 35' (1-1), Emmanuel “Ammo” Baba 52' (2-1), Cengiz Atakan 60' (2-2), İbrahim Yalçınkaya 65' (2-3)

All from Iraq Times (they did not mention the time of the first goal)

I also have differing goal times for this match

Ceyhun Güneş 20, Cengiz Atakan 53, İbrahim Yalçınkaya 75
(The data is from the book "Turkish Football History" published by Turkish FA from Erdinç Sivritepe)

Milliyet newspaper mentioned that Edison Eshay (20) Ammo Baba (35) scored for Iraq and Turkey scored first goal within first few minutes of the second half, tied the game at 15 (60) and scored the third goal at 17' (62).

The Iraq Times also mentioned that Turkey were awarded the points in the two matches against Lebanon after they withdrew.

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#4 [url]

Mar 17 12 6:45 PM

More details

The North Korean side that played in Baghdad in December 1969 was their national team according to the Baghdad Observer.

They played three matches, one of which was against the Iraq national team on December 22, 1969 that ended in a 1-0 victory for Iraq.

Sadly the newspaper report didn't go into detail.

14/12/1969 Iraq (Military) 0-1 North Korea
16/12/1969 Baghdad Youth XI 0-1 North Korea
22/12/1969 Iraq 1-0 North Korea

The two matches against the UAR national team (or Egypt) in 1968 and 1969 were international matches.

UAR even played Poland Olympic on December 11 1968 in Baghdad.

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#5 [url]

Mar 17 12 8:53 PM

For 1969 - are these now confirmed as the correct dates for the three matches vs Pyongyang? Niiiis says: 14/12 "Baghdad National" won 1-0 (goal Mudhaffar Nouri), but doesn't give the dates for both 0-1 defeats for the Iraq Military and Baghdad Youth teams.

Presumably it was the same North Korean team which played on 5/12/69 in Algeria.



For 1959 the most important differences (other than minutes) are that Ammo Baba could have 2 or 3 goals on 25/11/59 and 1 or 2 goals on 13/12/59.

For 13/12/1959, based on all available data, I would deduce the goals/minutes as :
[Ammo Baba 35' 52' / Ceyhun Güneş 20', Cengiz Atakan 60', İbrahim Yalçınkaya 65']

Minutes can always vary a bit, but the order should be preserves. I assume Erdinc didn't provide the Iraq scorers, but I expect he did a thorough job.
I saw the same Milliyet report and it seems like something was lost in transit ; the lineups were given but then the match report was very brief. I think Milliyet has mixed up the goal at 20 and the first goal in 2nd half. If you swap them, (which agrees with Erdinc having the first Turkish goal at 20), then the Milliyet minutes agree with the Iraq Times minutes.

Incidentally I read reports in early 1960 that Turkey and the four other Asian group winners were supposed to play a 5 team group, to be hosted in a neutral location, but for some reason this format was dropped and Turkey qualified directly, with the other 4 teams playing each other in pairs.

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#6 [url]

Mar 17 12 9:43 PM

nfm24 wrote:
For 1969 - are these now confirmed as the correct dates for the three matches vs Pyongyang? Niiiis says: 14/12 "Baghdad National" won 1-0 (goal Mudhaffar Nouri), but doesn't give the dates for both 0-1 defeats for the Iraq Military and Baghdad Youth teams.

Presumably it was the same North Korean team which played on 5/12/69 in Algeria.


These were the dates written in the Baghdad Observer, the national team played on Monday, December 22, 1969. I think we can say that the team was the North Korean national side, though I can't confirm it without a team line-up.

Sadly I was not able to get details on the Baghdad Youth XI's victory over East Germany because there was a public holiday at the time, and no newspapers were printed on those days.

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#7 [url]

Mar 17 12 9:52 PM

Great work anyway. You never know in advance what you might find in these newspaper archives - was it microfilm or paper copies? And how long did the process take, from requesting an edition to being able to read it?

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#8 [url]

Mar 17 12 9:55 PM

nfm24 wrote:


For 1959 the most important differences (other than minutes) are that Ammo Baba could have 2 or 3 goals on 25/11/59 and 1 or 2 goals on 13/12/59.

For 13/12/1959, based on all available data, I would deduce the goals/minutes as :
[Ammo Baba 35' 52' / Ceyhun Güneş 20', Cengiz Atakan 60', İbrahim Yalçınkaya 65']

Minutes can always vary a bit, but the order should be preserves. I assume Erdinc didn't provide the Iraq scorers, but I expect he did a thorough job.
I saw the same Milliyet report and it seems like something was lost in transit ; the lineups were given but then the match report was very brief. I think Milliyet has mixed up the goal at 20 and the first goal in 2nd half. If you swap them, (which agrees with Erdinc having the first Turkish goal at 20), then the Milliyet minutes agree with the Iraq Times minutes.

Incidentally I read reports in early 1960 that Turkey and the four other Asian group winners were supposed to play a 5 team group, to be hosted in a neutral location, but for some reason this format was dropped and Turkey qualified directly, with the other 4 teams playing each other in pairs.


I hope to look into other sources, in Dhia Al-Munshi's book and many other Iraqi sources, the goals scored against Turkey in Baghdad were netted by Ammo Baba and Qasim Mahmoud.

After getting the result with North Korea and verifying that that Korean side and the UAR side was the national team, I finally have a complete list of matches for Iraq from 1957 to 1969

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#9 [url]

Mar 17 12 10:10 PM

nfm24 wrote:
Great work anyway. You never know in advance what you might find in these newspaper archives - was it microfilm or paper copies? And how long did the process take, from requesting an edition to being able to read it?


It was on microfilm. Most of the top matches held in Baghdad were reported on, though the details varied from year to year, for example, the matches in 1969, they only included the times of the goals, and the name of the goalscorer on the opponents side was not mentioned. However the Iraq Times did go into great details on the Belgium delegation that played in Baghdad in 1963 (according to them they had 14 journalists as part of the delegation), though the match report did not include a team line-up or the name of the goalscorer, only the time.

There were no details on matches played abroad, only the result. Most of these newspapers were not sport oriented, and they only included one page for sports. The Baghdad News (1964-1967) did not even have that.

The overal process did not take long, you can make a request online (up to 48 hrs) and have it ready when you arrive at the library. However you have to register with them first and apply for a Reader Card.

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#10 [url]

Mar 28 12 6:00 PM

Video Iraq-North Korea:

http://archive.org/details/iraq_NK

what match is?

Chollima Football Fans:
http://calciocorea.splinder.com

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#12 [url]

Mar 28 12 9:33 PM

HM_IRAQ57 wrote:
koba wrote:
Video Iraq-North Korea:

http://archive.org/details/iraq_NK

what match is?


2008 Olympic qualfier


The result in the video is 1-0 for Iraq..

in 2008 Olympic I find:
6 june 2007 Iraq - DPRK 0-0
12 september 2007 Iraq - DPRK 2-0
???

Chollima Football Fans:
http://calciocorea.splinder.com

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#13 [url]

Mar 28 12 10:38 PM

koba wrote:
HM_IRAQ57 wrote:
koba wrote:
Video Iraq-North Korea:

http://archive.org/details/iraq_NK

what match is?


2008 Olympic qualfier


The result in the video is 1-0 for Iraq..

in 2008 Olympic I find:
6 june 2007 Iraq - DPRK 0-0
12 september 2007 Iraq - DPRK 2-0
???


Iraq won 1-0 on 6 June 2007. This is the game, it was played in Jordan.

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#14 [url]

Apr 1 12 9:23 PM

Re: The Iraq NT project

HM_IRAQ57 wrote:
From the start of 2012, I decided that I would try my best to finally complete this project


From many sources (RSSSF is one of them) I understand that, in the past, "Iraqi NT" and "Iraqi Army XI" were the same Team.
My questions are:
1. Is it still valid?
2. When the two Teams diversified?
3. Are you going to take into account, in your Project, also Army Team matches, when the two Teams coincided?

Your Project is very interesting! Good luck!

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#15 [url]

Apr 2 12 7:03 AM

Re: The Iraq NT project

Giampaolo wrote:
HM_IRAQ57 wrote:
From the start of 2012, I decided that I would try my best to finally complete this project


From many sources (RSSSF is one of them) I understand that, in the past, "Iraqi NT" and "Iraqi Army XI" were the same Team.
My questions are:
1. Is it still valid?
2. When the two Teams diversified?
3. Are you going to take into account, in your Project, also Army Team matches, when the two Teams coincided?

Your Project is very interesting! Good luck!


Football and the military have always been closely linked from the early beginnings in Iraq, Iraq's first ever club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya was formed as a team representing the Iraqi Air Force. When visiting teams came to Iraq, the Army Sports Games Committee and the Iraq FA based in Baghdad would form their own selections, the Iraq Army and the Baghdad XI (i.e. players from the army in one team and non-military players in another), the were also branches of the FA in the cities of Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk however the best teams and players were based in Baghdad. The Army team was always the strongest.

I will not take into account the army matches because they were unofficial matches, however I am trying to find their matches in the CISM World Military Championship, which for many years had great importance in Iraqi football history.

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#16 [url]

Apr 2 12 10:36 AM

Re: The Iraq NT project

HM_IRAQ57 wrote:
I will not take into account the army matches because they were unofficial matches, however I am trying to find their matches in the CISM World Military Championship, which for many years had great importance in Iraqi football history.


Thanks for your reply, but I have another question.
You said that your Project is starting from 1951.
1. This means that before 1951, there was no Iraq NT (official and/or unofficial) Match?
2. This means that the first Match was:
06.05.1951 Turkey "B" - Iraq 7-0 (unknown venue)?
Thanks again.

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#17 [url]

Apr 2 12 8:14 PM

Re: The Iraq NT project

Giampaolo wrote:


Thanks for your reply, but I have another question.
You said that your Project is starting from 1951.
1. This means that before 1951, there was no Iraq NT (official and/or unofficial) Match?
2. This means that the first Match was:
06.05.1951 Turkey "B" - Iraq 7-0 (unknown venue)?
Thanks again.


Before 1951 there were no matches played by the Iraq NT official or otherwise. After Iraq became a member of FIFA in 1950, the Iraq FA decided to form a national side and in 1951 the team played five matches one of which was against Turkey B and against an Ankara XI. The other matches were against select teams.

There were however national selections playing under different names, i.e. the Baghdad FA XI in the 1920s and a match against Al-Barada (Syria) in 1938 when an army team and a team representing the ministry of education played the Syrians and a select team made up of the best of these two teams played under the name Olympic Club. The Royal Guards team that played Pakistan in 1950 was actually a select team.

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#18 [url]

Apr 3 12 3:04 PM

Re: The Iraq NT project

HM_IRAQ57 wrote:

Before 1951 there were no matches played by the Iraq NT official or otherwise. After Iraq became a member of FIFA in 1950, the Iraq FA decided to form a national side and in 1951 the team played five matches one of which was against Turkey B and against an Ankara XI. The other matches were against select teams.

There were however national selections playing under different names, i.e. the Baghdad FA XI in the 1920s and a match against Al-Barada (Syria) in 1938 when an army team and a team representing the ministry of education played the Syrians and a select team made up of the best of these two teams played under the name Olympic Club. The Royal Guards team that played Pakistan in 1950 was actually a select team.


Have you details (opposing team, venue, date, score) of them, especially the five matches played in 1951?
Also details of Baghdad Fa XI would be interesting. But, may be, more difficult to be found.
Thanks.

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#19 [url]

Apr 5 12 1:34 PM

I think it is important where possible to keep track of anything that could be interpreted as an international match. In the case of Iraq this means most of the military matches (friendlies and tournaments).

Even if it is only a skeleton list of the military matches, with no extra details, it will help to distinguish them from the "true" national team matches.

Similarly for the early pre-national team era, e.g. matches such as Baghdad XI.

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#20 [url]

Apr 5 12 5:25 PM

Giampaolo wrote:

Have you details (opposing team, venue, date, score) of them, especially the five matches played in 1951?
Also details of Baghdad Fa XI would be interesting. But, may be, more difficult to be found.
Thanks.


Iraq played five matches, a select team from Habbaniya, Basra, two matches in Turkey and one other match in Baghdad against a Syrian side. Iraq won two matches, drew one and lost 2. The matches were all played in April/May 1951.

nfm24 wrote:
I think it is important where possible to keep track of anything that could be interpreted as an international match. In the case of Iraq this means most of the military matches (friendlies and tournaments).

Even if it is only a skeleton list of the military matches, with no extra details, it will help to distinguish them from the "true" national team matches.

Similarly for the early pre-national team era, e.g. matches such as Baghdad XI.


I have a record of matches of the Iraq Army team however it would take too much time to collect the details on each match and finding details on some of the friendly matches played outside of Baghdad would be difficult. I see no real point of it at the moment. The Iraqi sporting press noted games in the 50s and 60s involving select teams, club sides played by the Iraqi army, Baghdad XI etc as 'internationals', which is why the stars of the 50s and 60s were noted to have played 65 or 70 internationals like Jamil Abbas, Ammo Baba and Youra Eshaya when the most they could have played in official internationals at the time was around 20.

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