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Ear to the Ground

Iraqi Soccer Champ Fears for His Life

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Posted on Jul 30, 2007
AP Phoro / Achmad Ibrahim

Mahmoud, center, fields questions on Saturday before returning to the soccer field Sunday for the Asian Cup finals.

One might expect that Iraqi soccer star Younis Mahmoud, who scored the winning goal for his country in Sunday’s Asian Cup finals game against Saudi Arabia, would have a hero’s welcome waiting for him at home.  Instead, Mahmoud plans to steer clear of his country for fear of being killed, and he voices the hope that American troops will withdraw as soon as possible.

Evening Standard:

“I don’t want the Iraqi people to be angry with me,” he said. “But, if I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me.

“One of my closest friends, they (the authorities) came to arrest him and for one year neither me nor his family knew where he was.

“I want America to go out,” he said. “Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn’t invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon.”

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By Hanan, July 31, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

younis is right…he dosnt want to go back to Iraq so he wont be killed, hes doing that for his safty and for his contreys safty…i luv u younis you know whats right so do it!! GOD BLESS IRAQ!!!!!!!

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By farmertx, July 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Whether that quote was heartfelt or a bid for a chance at safety is to be considered.
What is given, is that the lack of a rational plan for the aftermath of his ego war, the Shrub has generated a climate of hate, fear and sudden death in Iraq.
That the team has to go to Jordan to practice in safety says a lot. Can’t blame any team member for being concerned about their safety.

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