Iraq wins Asian Cup

Turns out, soccer players do better when playing for a monetary reward instead of playing to avoid being tortured:

Iraq delivered an inspirational victory Sunday by winning the Asian Cup with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, a beacon of hope for a nation divided by war.

It was an extraordinary triumph for a team drawn together from all parts of the Gulf and with its players straddling bitter and violent ethnic divides.

Iraq scored on a 71st-minute header by Younis Mahmoud and dominated the final against heavily favored Saudi Arabia, a three-time Asian Cup champion. This was Iraq’s first Asian Cup title. …

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office announced that each player on the Iraqi team would receive $10,000.

The win is being greeted with celebratory gunfire.

3 Responses to “Iraq wins Asian Cup”

  1. Andrew says:

    Iraqi soccer players may well indeed be motivated to play better with monetary rewards instead of the fear of torture and death, but Captian Mahmoud shows exactly why the Middle East is so hopeless. What does Mahmoud have to say about the Americans who removed Saddam — the man who would have tortured the team and its members’ families if it failed to win important matches?

    “I want America to go out… Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn’t invade Iraq and, hopefully, it will be over soon.”

    Very well then. Maybe we ought to keep those monetary rewards to help pay for our withdrawal, and find a Saddam impersonator to torture Mahmoud, since he appears to have some fondness for the good ol’ days.

  2. Peter Evans says:

    Life is undoubtably better for FOOTBALL now than it was under Saddam – one can imagine that the looming threat of electrodes to the danglies would put you off your game. However, a fair few Iraqis feel the same way about the American invasion. Basically, before those persecuted were the intelligensia and anyone foolish enough to talk opposition, with a bit of Kurd shooting thrown in. If you were a low level chap, as Captain Mahmoud is (folk didn’t last long in the FOOTBALL teams, he’d be relatively new) then life would be a bit unpleasant but far from uncertain. Unfortunately, the incompetence of the after invasion planning has meant a low level civil war with car bombs – leading to a big hefty bag of terror for everyone. So in the common man’s eye in Baghdad, invasion = suck.

    I didn’t like the invasion, but if they’d gone in with a proper plan then Iraq may have had chance to be at peace and prosperity now, with a few birthing pains. Instead, we got “We don’t do insurgencies” Rumsfeld and Bremner being idiots. Hence a distinct lack of goodwill from the bulk of Iraqis in the city. (There’s still goodwill from the Kurds and the country, where bombers don’t roam and life is happier)

    Anyway, congrats the Iraqi team!

  3. Sandy Underpants says:

    If we had a plan it’d be better? Well there’s good news, we have the rest of our lives to come up with a plan.