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Old 02-13-2003, 12:34 PM   #1
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Iraq Soccer Team

Not to bring politics to this forum, but I find this sad.
* * * * *
Oddly Enough - UK Reuters

Iraq's soccer coach quits -- all players in army
Thursday February 13th, 2003

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German coach of the Iraqi national soccer team, Bernd Stange, has left Iraq, saying there was no point in staying because all his players were being drafted into the army.

"My mission as coach of the Iraq national football team has come to an end," Stange told a German newspaper shortly before leaving Baghdad by plane for the Jordanian capital, Amman on Thursday.

"I am bitterly disappointed that politics can find no other way than to hurl bombs at my footballers."

The German foreign ministry said it had advised Stange to leave Iraq. Stange, a former coach of the East German national soccer team before German unification, signed a four-year contract to coach Iraq last November.

He was accused of aggravating tensions between Germany and the United States by taking the job.

"There comes a point where it no longer makes any sense," Stange told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Relations between Berlin and Washington have become increasingly strained as a result of Germany's strict opposition to waging war on Iraq, accused by the United States of amassing weapons of mass destruction.

Stange took the Iraq post insisting that sport had nothing to do with politics. He said he had looked forward to working in a "soccer-mad nation."

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Old 02-13-2003, 03:03 PM   #2
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:47 PM   #3
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Must be hard to hide a gun in a pair of UMBROS.
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Old 02-14-2003, 06:02 AM   #4
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I heard Saddam (or his son Uday) actually tossed them in an attic and beat them up after they lost 1-0 in the Gulf Cup or something. Yea, it is and music always has room for something you never thought possible - there's a tennis doubles pair of a player from Israel and one from Palestine, always thought that was a lovely thing for both of them to do.
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