Football in Iraq

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Football in Iraq
ملعب كربلاء الدولي.jpg
Governing bodyIraq Football Association
National team(s)men's national team
Club competitions
International competitions

The sport of football in the country of Iraq is run by the Iraq Football Association.[1][2] The association administers the national football team as well as the Iraqi Premier League.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Football is the most popular sport in Iraq.[10]

National teams[edit]

The national team have qualified for the final tournament of the World Cup once in 1986 which was held in Mexico. Success in the Asian Cup has been more widespread, winning the tournament in 2007 and finishing fourth in 1976 and 2015. As of 2015 the women's national team have not entered either of these competitions.

The under-23 side has had success at the Asian Games winning silver at the 2006 edition in Qatar and bronze in 2014, South Korea. Their best placing in Olympic football has been fourth at Athens in 2004.

As for 29 June 2015 the men's team were ranked 86th in the world[11] and the women's team joint 138th (and last) due to being inactive.[12]

Club tournaments[edit]

Al-Shorta SC reached the final of the 1971 AFC Champions League, the biggest tournament in Asian football, but withdrew from the final due to it being against an Israeli team; Israel were subsequently expelled from the AFC and the Arab media considers Al-Shorta to be the tournament's winners that year. Al-Rasheed SC also reached the final in 1989 but lost on away goals. Those same two clubs are the only Iraqi teams to have won the Arab Club Champions Cup; Al-Shorta won the first ever edition in 1982 with Al-Rasheed winning that competition three times in a row (1985, 1986, 1987). In terms of second-tier continental cups, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya won the AFC Cup in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Domestic league titles won by club[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "When Saturday Comes - War games". 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  2. ^ "State Of Football In Iraq | Football & Sport". Sabotage Times. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  3. ^ "Nathan Harden: Soccer Could Save Iraq". 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  4. ^ "Nation & World | Soccer title brings rare gift: Iraq unity | Seattle Times Newspaper". 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  5. ^ Karon, Tony (2007-07-25). "Iraqi Soccer Reaches a Goooooooal!". TIME. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  6. ^ BBC's Sally Nugent (2010-09-17). "BBC Sport - Football - Iraqi team helping people unite". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  7. ^ Arun, Neil (2009-07-11). "Middle East | When football came home to Iraq". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  8. ^ Nordland, Rod; Al-Izzi, Sa'ad (2009-11-24). "Soccer in Iraq: Another Field for Argument". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  9. ^ Lucinda, Hannah. "Should Iraq's leaders be more like their football players? - BBC News". Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "FIFA rankings". 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2015-06-29.
  12. ^ "FIFA rankings". 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2015-06-29.

External links[edit]