Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, used to be the chairman of the Iraqi Football Association. In 1994, he reportedly made the Iraqi national football team kick a concrete ball for failing to qualify for the World Cup. Football (soccer to our American supporters) is the most popular sport in Iraq but for decades it was in the hands of the regime. Under ISIS, football was banned on pain of death.

This week, we restored the beautiful game to its rightful owners – the young men and women of Iraq. In Harsham Camp north of Erbil, we gave out new kit and footballs and helped arrange a practice session and tournament.

Despite the searing heat, the day of footballing fun drew a lot of curious spectators, including this young Barcelona fan.

And this little girl (perhaps she will be part of the first Iraqi women’s football team to make it to the World Cup).

With the war in Iraq raging on, many children have been denied the opportunity to participate in any kind of sporting activity due to the fact that they are living in displacement camps which have no facilities. While much of our effort goes into providing food and education, we are very happy to give these children a chance to enjoy football again.

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Making a donation to support our work

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Thank you for your support,

The FRRME Team