Iraqi Olympic Soccer Player Kidnapped

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Media: The Associated Press
Byline: n/a
Date: 04 September 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq_A popular Iraqi soccer player who was a member of the
country's Olympic team has been kidnapped in Baghdad, police said.

Ghanim Ghudayer, 22, considered one of the best players in Baghdad's Air
Force Club, was kidnapped on Sunday evening by unknown assailants in the
al-Amil neighborhood where he lives in the western part of the capital,
police 1st Lt. Mutaz Salahiddin said.

Some of the kidnappers were dressed in military uniform, Salahiddin said.

Samir Kadhim, head of the Air Force Club, said Ghudayer had been preparing
to go to a training session when he was intercepted by the assailants in two

Iraqi sports officials and athletes have frequently faced threats,
kidnappings and assassination attempts.

In July, Iraq's national soccer coach, Akram Ahmed Salman, resigned after
receiving death threats against him and his family.

Earlier that month, unknown gunmen kidnapped the chairman of Iraq's National
Olympic Committee and at least 30 other officials, including the presidents
of the taekwondo and boxing federations, in a brazen daylight raid on a
sports conference in the heart of Baghdad.

The abduction came after Iraq's national wrestling coach, a Sunni, was
killed in a Shiite district of Baghdad.

Soccer is popular in Iraq, where the national team's successes in the past
three years have provided a joyous distraction from the daily violence.