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Thursday 19 January 2012

Book of the Month – When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone by James Montague – Chapter Five – Iraq at the Gulf Cup

    Shamefully failed statements of public … relation, timely calls of a last-minute availability; a casual trip to the most dangerous place on Earth.

    Iraq - the Kurdish North; Erbil to be specific. A dichotomous land: one country with two governments; a single nation with two national teams.

    Corkscrewing planes, handlers too easily evaded, that elusive and unexpected gratitude found in abundance due to the fortune of birth.

    The horrors of the past left behind, those of the present bravely risen above.

    The Gulf Cup, back in the Emirates; Iraq undone, the hosts elated. A BBC-labeled microphone, the only backstage pass required – well, that and the aid of a generously helpful fan; the unwanted and divisive question asked and turned away.

    Dick Advocaat, Bruno Metsu, last-minute winners and FA politics.

    Don’t look a gift camel in the mouth.

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