ESPNsoccernet – Global – Iraq v Saudi Arabia Report: maybe soccer will be the best way to save the country.
Few people had given Iraq any chance of winning the tournament after a haphazard preparation brought about by the war at home and facing opponents who were appearing in their sixth final in 23 years.
Iraq were forced to train and play their qualifiers in neutral countries and their coach, Brazilian coach Jorvan Vieira, who said he planned to quit after the match, only had two months to mould a team that included Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish players.
None of the Iraqi players have been untouched by the war and although they have tried to mask their grief, there were constant reminders of the sectarian violence at home.
Anyway, congratulations to the team for the victory.