Iraqi soccer team get rousing welcome - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Iraqi soccer team get rousing welcome

By Andrea Mayes 15/11/2003 06:03:41 AM Comments (0)

The Iraqi national soccer team led by coach Bernt Stange flew into Perth Saturday night to a rousing welcome from members of Perth's Iraqi community.

The team, on a 10-day visit to Western Australia aimed at building goodwill, were greeted by about 70 vocal supporters chanting songs and waving Iraqi flags and banners reading "Iraqi Pride Never Dies".

Former Perth Glory coach Stange said the last four or five months had been the toughest of his life as he tried to rebuild the Iraqi team, largely from his own pocket.

"There is nothing left in Iraq, no facilities, no soccer balls, no equipment," he told journalists at Perth Airport.

"Everything is looted after the war. Even the nets for the goals, and we have no machines to cut the grass."

However, Stange believes he has an important morale-boosting role in Iraq and hopes the tour will help promote the team and give the players a lift.

"We are the good news from Iraq. Football is peace and we are glad to be here to enjoy the hospitality and the welcome from the Iraqi West Australian people," he said.

"There are so many bad news (sic) and war and violence in Iraq, but we are still alive and we play soccer and this is some good news out of Iraq.

"The Iraqi people need some good news now."

His side will play a representative Australian side in a special "World Peace Game" on Sunday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news