Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Iraqi Officials Cry Foul over Star's U.K. Work Permit Denial
Los Angeles Times, January 28th, 2008 5:15PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy article on the misfortune of Iraqi soccer star Nashat Akram, one of his country's most popular players, who was recently denied a work permit that would have allowed him to sign for Manchester City of the English Premier League. The news spread across Iraq on Saturday, angering the soccer-mad masses, including Iraqi government and sports officials. Akram was an integral part of Iraq's monumental victory in the 2007 Asian Cup. The midfielder was voted most valuable player of the final match against Saudi Arabia.

"This is a very, very unfair decision," said Akram's agent, Najim Mohammed, who suggested the decision was politically motivated. "We want to make good relations between Iraq and the U.K. and America. We want to show Iraqi people these people want to help give us a hand. But this is against Iraqi people ... They keep the people suffering. They don't give them any joy."

Akram lost the appeal on a technicality: to meet the requirements for a work permit, a team needs to have a two-year average FIFA ranking of 70. Iraq's average rank is 71. Additionally, a team needs to have played matches against the top 20 countries in the world during that time period. "We genuinely don't understand the decision," said Manchester City spokesman Paul Tyrrell. "We thought the immigration authorities would take into consideration that Iraq, because of the domestic problems, would have difficulty playing against any of the top 20 countries."

Read the original story...



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Ranieri Named Greece Coach     
Claudio Ranieri on Friday signed a two-year deal to manage Greece. The 62-year-old Italian replaces Fernando ...
West Ham's Carroll to Miss Four Months    
West Ham striker Andy Carroll is set to miss up to four months after suffering ankle ...
Pinto Quits Costa Rica     
Jorge Luis Pinto, who guided Costa Rica to a surprise quarterfinal finish at the World Cup ...
Cech to Fight for Chelsea Place    
Petr Cech has vowed to stay and fight for his place as his decade-long reign as ...
Mourinho: Drogba 'Belongs' to Chelsea    
Jose Mourinho on Friday admitted that he is considering re-signing Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who is ...
Maradona Blasts Argentina's Coaching Decisions    
Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona, who famously inspired the Albiceleste to World Cup glory at the ...
FIFA Backs 2018 Russia World Cup     
FIFA on Friday said it remains committed to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite the ...
NBC Brings EPL to Movie Theaters    
NBC Sports and Fathom Events are teaming up to show English Premier League games on Saturday ...
Aguirre Named Japan Coach     
Former Mexico coach Javier Aguirre on Thursday was appointed head coach of the Japanese national team, ...
Swans Sign Montero    
Swansea on Thursday signed Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero on a four-year deal from Mexican club Morelia. ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives