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Iraqi High School Soccer Team Visits Korea

Posted April. 11, 2005 23:35,   


An Iraqi soccer delegation for peace came to Korea.

A total of 30 players selected among high school players in Arbil, Iraq, in which the Korean Zaytun unit (the unit for Peace and Reconstruction in Iraq) has stationed, entered Korea via Incheon International Airport on April 11 at the invitation of Dong-a Ilbo and the Korean Football Association (KFA), and rested at the National Football Training Center (NFC) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.

The beginning of the exceptional relationship between Korea and Iraqi high school soccer dates back to last July when Dong-a Ilbo launched the “Campaign to Send Soccer Balls with Hope to Iraq.”

Dong-a Ilbo newspaper delivered 50,000 soccer balls to Iraq through the Zaytun unit, and a soccer match sponsored by the Zaytun was held for high school soccer teams in the nearby area, including Arbil, for 15 days, starting last November 27.

The team that is visiting Korea this time is a selected group from the Arbil region, with Howler High School at the center.

The leader of the team, Drer Sale (37), said, “I’m so happy to come to Korea, which advanced to the semi-final in the last World Cup. The Arbil area is currently filled with a peaceful atmosphere. Everyone in the region feels pleasant, playing with the soccer balls from Korea.

One of the players, Hoshang Salim (20), commented, “it is my first time to play in a foreign country. I want to establish a friendly relationship with Korean students with the match.”

The soccer team from Arbil is scheduled to have a match with Joong-kyung High School at 11:00 a.m. on April 12, and with Paju Technical High School at 2:00 p.m. on April 14.

The team will also meet the President of the KFA, Chung Mong-joon, on the afternoon of April 12 and watch a soccer match of the Korean professional soccer league between FC Seoul and Suwon Samsung at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 7:00 p.m. on April 13.

The team will leave Korea on April 18 after visiting some attractions, including Everland, the War Memorial of Korea, and the Korean Folk Village during their seven night, eight day stay.

Soon-Il Kwon stt77@donga.com