By Congrong Zheng
When we talk about the sports of Iraq, we can never forget to mention the soccer (also called as football) in Iraq. The Men National team of Iraq soccer right now is ranking 109 and the women national team is ranked as 126, according to FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). In Iraq there is about 540,000 soccer players , 16,000 registered players and 110 soccer club at Iraq. Iraq national men football team is also the leading team in Asia. The national football team in Iraq has been established from 1948.
having a record won of a total of four Arab Nations Cup (1964, 1966, 1985, 1988). On the Asian level Iraq is one of the powerhouses having won the AFC Asian Cup once (2007), the Gold Medal of the Asian Games (1982), Three Gulf Cups of Nations (1979, 1984, 1988), and West Asia Championship (2002).
Iraq have been awarded the AFC National Team of the Year award two times (2004 and 2007), being the only team from West Asia to win this award.
Political issue has influenced the growth of Iraq football team. On November 20, 2009, FIFA decided to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) due to governmental interference.
As we talked before, there are several women issues at Iraq. Women sports also faced a lot of obstacle and challenges. But Iraq women sports are still growing.