Praise for Iraq
On 29 July, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was in Jakarta for the final of the 14th AFC Asian Cup, where his presence owed as much to the teams involved as to his habit of attending such showpiece events. “I’ve witnessed an exceptional victory,” he said afterwards, paying homage to the winners and the excellent quality of football on display. “I know the Iraqis weren’t able to train in the best conditions. Their coach’s work was all the more remarkable because of that. He succeeded in building a team composed of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. The unity and attitude of the players has been fantastic. They showed how it’s possible to be united on the pitch for a common goal, thanks to football! ” Blatter expressed a wish that the historic victory will have a positive influence on the future of the country in the long term. “I hope that football can help to build a better future thanks to its incredible power to unite people,” he added.