Yaser Kasim has come under intense scrutiny following a devastating attack by international football agent Najim Mohamad. The Swindon midfielder’s attitude was put into question amid his imminent exclusion from the Iraqi squad to face UAE later this month. Najim, himself an Iraqi national, runs the UAE-based Hattrick Sports Services football agency and currently represents many of Iraq’s European-based footballers including Ali Adnan and Dhurgham Ismail.
Najim was asked in an interview what the current situation was with Yaser Kasim given his previous absence from the Iraqi national team. His reply was far from forgiving, with Yaser’s attitude and ability called into question:
“I’m very close friends with Yaser’s father, who has no involvement in any of Yaser’s antics. Yaser doesn’t listen to his father’s advice and thinks that only English people know about football, which has resulted in him losing his position in the national team. He should take my advice and be careful – if he doesn’t fix himself up in time, then we might see the end of Yaser Kasim soon. He’s in the third tier [of England] and with his personality and manners, he cannot be a [successful] footballer.
I like Yaser and his father is very dear to me, but all the managers who have sat Yaser on the bench have done so for justifiable reasons. He started off in an excellent position but has declined – he doesn’t deserve to play anywhere now. He’s arrogant and thinks of himself as an Englishman whereas he sees us [Iraqis] as peasants and uneducated. It’s only now he’s facing the punishment for this.
I’ve warned his father about Yaser, but he is a free man and his dad has no say in his actions. Yaser is arrogant and my advice to him is to wake up.” – Najim Mohamad
Yaser has had a torrid time with the national team in recent months following an exceptional start to his international career. The midfielder was voted Iraq’s best expat footballer in 2015, receiving the reward from Iraqi Professional Players. Yaser was instrumental in guiding Iraq to a fourth place spot in the last Asian Cup. However, numerous controversies have surrounded the 25 year old, including a rumoured bust-up with Iraqi legend Younis Mahmoud. Image later appeared online showing Yaser talking to a woman by a pool, which was leaked in the hope of tarnishing the player’s image in front of the Iraqi media and people. The player later declared his retirement from international football, only to return following a change of heart.
A dip in form followed the player’s failed switch to Premier League club Swansea in January 2016, which left the player in limbo. Currently still at Swindon, it remains uncertain what the future holds for the creative midfielder. This is especially the case for the player’s international career, with Radhi Shenaishil benching Yaser in Iraq’s first World Cup qualifier versus Australia. The midfielder was to feature in the second half of the match but would later pull out of the second fixture versus Saudi, citing a leg injury.
It was rumoured that Yaser was unhappy with being used as a substitute and decided to pull out of the squad due to frustration. However, Yaser has dismissed these claims and provided the Iraqi FA with medical reports from his club to prove the injury genuine. Following the incident, Yaser was dropped from the 23-man squad that faced Japan and Thailand.
It is unlikely that Yaser will feature in Iraq’s next World Cup qualifier against UAE. Yaser has looked notoriously unhappy for some time now and we hope that he can find form once more. The youngster has proven his ability previously and can continue to dominate the midfield for Iraq in years to come. However, attitude comes a long way. The best footballers will inevitably have their critics and doubters, and Yaser is no different. Yaser has made no comment following the Najim Mohamad interview and IraqFootball.me hope Yaser does his talking on the pitch instead. Good luck to him during this career blip – form is temporary, class is permanent.