17 July 2014
Iraqi soccer pitches have emerged as an alternative battleground in the struggle for control of Iraq between the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls chunks of northern Iraq, and embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Iraqi officials said the broadcasting last Sunday in Baghdad’s Al-Shaab International Stadium of the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina was intended as a show of defiance against the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL), which has banned soccer in territory it controls and reportedly ordered the closure of sports facilities and forbidden the wearing of shirts with images imprinted on them, including soccer jerseys.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 21/07/2014