OPERATION DAGSVÆRK:SIDA: National Team Calls Up 5 Players from Al-Salam Football School

SIDA: National Team Calls Up 5 Players from Al-Salam Football School
As a part of an official cooperation between the Ministry of Youth & Sports and Al-Salam Football School, the SIDA financed academy was invited to form five teams to play against six governmental youth academies run by the Ministry.
An official invitation was given to Al-Salam Football School to form its own team and invite its sister academies in Baghdad, all affiliated to the SIDA project in Iraq. The teams faced the governmental youth academies run by the Ministry of Youth & Sports; the players there are considered the absolute elite of Iraqi youth football.
They are usually handpicked by governmental officials affiliated political parties; giving the players monthly wages and taking care of their expenses, including the funding of training from former international players.
Whilst the Salam football school and its sister academies are independent football schools financed by the SIDA project, the schools are made of local children where the system is based on the love of sports and games, rather than elitism. Their model fallows the simple Scandinavian grassroots system, where each age group has as many teams as possible, those who take their football seriously plays for the first teams, whilst those who play for fun can join the teams at lower level.
Also, something innovational, is the inclusion of special teams for those who are mentally or physically disabled, where they have their own league and championships against other sister academies of the SIDA project. At the exhibition in Baghdad Football Academy complex, the teams played against each other based on age groups.
The teams run by the SIDA project were coached the Ashour brothers (both former national youth players), Amer Assi (U21 World Cup 1989 player), Karim ‘Al-Iraqi’ (former military team player) and Mohammad ‘Hamoodi’ Al-Lami one of the first graduates of the Al-Salam Football School, both as a player and later on as coach.
The Al-Salam Football Schools played their games against these specialized clubs and left the exchibitional with only one loss out of 15 games, beating and drawing against the A, B and C teams of the U15 and U14 national teams. Afterwards, Al-Salam Football School was presented with a prize as the organizer of the game format, refereeing, playing and coaching.
Also, 5 players were called up directly to the Iraqi U14 and U15 national teams. Including 3 of the coaches received job offers within the elite academy, all refusing the offer as they felt Al-Salam Football School had more talents to offer than the Iraqi Football Association.
The five players whom were called up are the following; Hussein ‘Juweyd’ Kadhum, right and left winger, born in 2003, from Iskan (Baghdad) and the brother of two professional footballers; one of them recently signed with PeshMergah F.C. Ahmad Louay Qadir, playmaker and false nine, born in 2002, from Hay Al-Jihad (Baghdad). Muhammad ‘Kwedhum’ Abd, forward, from Iskan (Baghdad, born in 2003.
Ahmad ‘Juma’ Khaled, goalkeeper, born in 2002, Baghdadi Kurd from Iskan and Muhammad ‘Hagi’ Hassan, left back / left midfield / left wing, born in 2004, from Washash (Baghdad) an orphan who lost both his parents in a suicide attack two years ago. All the players will be included in the National Team, receive a monthly wage and the Ministry will cover their transportation and accommodation.
The CCPA family would like to congratulate them on their call up and wish them the best of luck in their dream of becoming football stars, hopefully, next time we see them is on the television.