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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:33, July 09, 2006
Nothing stop anxious Iraqis from watching final World Cup match
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Insecurity and economic hurdles would not deter Iraqis from watching the final match of World Cup 2006 as the magic game occupies their hearts and minds in the war-torn country.

Iraqis are soccer crazed as "most youngsters play soccer in the streets, soccer fields and even inside their backyards," Ahmed Kamal, 22, a collage student in Baghdad University said.

"They even play football on the main roads of Baghdad when curfew or traffic ban impose on the city as frequently," Kamal added.

Many Iraqis were disappointed when the French players eliminated their favorite Brazilians in the quarter final game last week.

"It's a pity we lost Brazil in the World Cup, the Brazilian players are ball magicians, their Samba style give us all excitement we need in football games," Hassan Ali, 43, said.

However, Ali expected the French to win the World Cup for two reasons, "they have captain Zinedine Zidane, and they may take psychological advantage into having beaten the Italians three times in major tournaments sine 1986."

The violence security deterioration in Iraq forces the people to watch the World Cup games in their houses for safety.

"My friends and I used to gather in one house to watch the World Cup games, particularly the final one, every four years," Majid Muhmoud, 49, an engineer said.

"Now situation has changed and we have to be at our homes before 8:00 p.m. because there is a curfew," he said.

In the restive city of Fallujah, some 50km west of Baghdad, people also are waiting eagerly for the World Cup final match.

"I am eager to watch the World Cup final match, and I am trying hard to make sure that I prepared all my needs to watch France and Italy playing the game," said Muhammed Hassan, a government employee in the almost devastated city of Fallujah.

According to Hassan, he prevented his family from eating fruit and some unnecessary needs for few days to save some money to buy fuel from the black market for his small generator as he expected the power to be cut as usual at the time of the match.

The power in Baghdad and some other Iraqi cities is usually no more than four to eight hours a day as interruptions to the electricity supply is largely caused by damages to the power lines due to violence and military operations.

"It is a chance for me and my family to forget all about the daily tragedies of our battle zone of Fallujah," he said.

"Although my two boys and I missed the Brazil national team, but they love France and Italy football," he said. "It is a big day for us."

Source: Xinhua

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