“The Iraqi FA Keeps 60% Of The Annual Budget As Salaries” – Younis Mahmoud

As the dust settles from Iraq’s atrocious performance against UAE in the Gulf Cup semi final loss, more and more people are starting to speak out against the appalling corruption that is holding back Iraqi football. Early in the week, Iraqfootball.me was highly critical of the Iraqi FA’s treatment of the ‘Golden Generation’. However, after yesterday’s result, Younis Mahmoud has launched a devastating attack on the Iraqi FA and has criticised them for a number of reason.

Younis claims that, from the allocated yearly budget, only 40% of it actually goes towards funding the whole of Iraqi football whilst the remaining 60% goes directly to senior FA members’ pockets.

“If you want Iraqi football to be successful, then you must be prepared to pay your footballers their fair share from the budget rather than the money going to members of the Ministry of Sport, the government and members of the Iraqi FA.

Don’t expect these players to leave their homes and families, then perform at their greatest capabilities [if they’ve not been looked after]. Players are often promised awards for their performances but they never actually receive anything due to the FA claiming they have no money. The players deserve their rights – let them know they’re valued.

With my generation, many of us played abroad so the financial difficulties of the FA were not too painful on us. However, most of this current squad play in the Iraqi league and aren’t so well off that they can book their own flights, as we did. We have all this potential in football and yet they only receive 40% of the budget allocation every year. Then we have the president of the Iraqi FA claiming that they have no money and that he’s had to borrow in order to fund the national team.

These players need to be provided with the best resources available to help hone their skills. At the very least, offer them a basic salary. Everywhere in the world, whenever there is a talent, the government will chase the individuals and provide them with whatever resources they need – all they ask in return is that you continue practicing and improving your trade. With us however, we provide nothing.

Younis Mahmoud is rumoured to be running for president of the Iraqi FA and will undoubtedly be piling on the pressure against Abdul Khaliq Masood to support his campaign. Although he has his own flaws, it’s hard to imagine Younis being any worse than the current impostors systematically destroying Iraqi football.

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