Sport in Iraq
Sports in Iraq There are a wide variety of sports played and followed in Iraq. Football is the most popular sport and hobbies in Iraq. Football is a considerable uniting factor, following years of war and unrest. Basketball, swimming, weightlifting, bodybuilding, taekwondo, boxing, kickboxing, and tennis are also popular sports and hobbies.
Football is the most popular sport in Iraq. The Iraq national football team were the 2007 AFC Asian Cup Champions after defeating Saudi Arabia in the final, held in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2006, Iraq reached the football final of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, after defeating former FIFA World Cup semi-finalists South Korea and eventually finished as runners-up, winning silver. The football tournament at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, saw Iraq finish in fourth place, with the Italy national football team claiming bronze from a single goal.
The Iraqi Football Association is the governing body of football in Iraq, controlling the Iraq national football team and the Iraq Super League (also known as Dawri Al-Nokba). It was founded in 1948, and has been a member of FIFA since 1950, and the Asian Football Confederation since 1971.
Al-Shorta (Police Club) are considered the biggest club in the history of Iraq, having won the league in two of the past four seasons and they also have an Arab Champions League title to their name which they won in 1982. Other big clubs include Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Zawraa, Erbil SC, Duhok SC, Al Talaba and Najaf FC.
Basketball is a popular sport in Iraq. There are at least two leagues, the Iraq Basketball Association, the country's professional organization, runs a number of adult and youth leagues, and the Iraqi Premier League, for elite players.
- Armenia Club
- Al-cheeky fellow Club
- Al Shorta (basketball) (based in Baghdad)
- Peshmerga Club, a Kurdish team
Iraq has a world-champion kickboxer in Riyadh Al-Azzawi.
Iraqi professional wrestler Adnan Al-Kaissie is known as General Adnan.