I just read a very interesting article in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, by Asker Hedegaard Boye, on Iraqi football. This is exactly interesting as the Iraqi national team has now been participating in the Confederations Cup in South Africa as Asian champions.
The development of Iraqi football has been quite extraordinary in the face of the problems that the country has faced: in the 1980s Iraq did very well, and even made it to the World Cup in Mexico in 1986, in spite of the abuses by Uday Hussein, the sadistic sports minister. In later years, in spite of the violence under US occupation, Iraqi football has flourished: in 2004 they sensationally made it to the Olympic quarterfinals and then became Asian champions. Its players are surely flourishing, and with the proper talent development we are probably looking at a future football power!