Iraq - Denmark League XI 1986

After Iraq’s successful qualification to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, FIFA lifted its ban on Iraq playing on home soil as the team prepared for its first World Cup appearance even with the war with Iran still going on. The Iraqi team had played all of their matches in the World Cup qualifiers on foreign soil. With the Danish 1. Division in its winter break, the Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU) sent the Ligalandsholdets or Denmark League XI to Baghdad to play two friendly internationals against Iraq, after an invitation from the Iraq Football Association (IFA). Both matches were regarded by FIFA and the IFA as official A internationals, however were not by the DBU. The team was coached by West German coach Josef “Sepp” Piontek, the national coach, and it gave the West German the chance to look at some of the talent in the local Danish league that he could take to the World Cup. A young Peter Schmeichel was a member of the squad, but contrary to the myth in Iraq that he played in the second match, it was actually Lars Høgh in goal that day. In all six members of the team that played in Baghdad booked their place on the plane to Mexico – they were Troels Rasmussen, Lars Høgh, Allan Simonsen, Kent Nielsen, Jan Bartram, and Flemming Christensen. All of seven of Iraq’s players from the Al-Rasheed Club had their hair shaved (a sadistic ritual ordered by club president and son of Iraqi president Uday Saddam Hussein after the team was defeated). The Al-Rasheed Club and the Iraqi national side had the same coach and coaching staff, which was one reasons why young midfielder Jafar Abdul-Hussein was called into the national team, he had impressed Brazilian coach Edú playing for Al-Rasheed, to make his one and only appearance for Iraq. In the second game, Edú’s famous footballing brother Zico was at the stadium wearing an green jacket with the name IRAQ printed on the back (trying his best to keep warm on a cold and windy day), he kicked off the game with Hussein Saeed. Zico had arrived in Baghdad with his club Flamengo to take part in a friendly against Iraq, that was played on February 5, a game which Iraq lost 2-0 to goals from Bebeto and Zico.
01/02/1986 - Al-SHAAB STADIUM, BAGHDAD – 45,000

IRAQ 				0-2	Denmark			[HT: 0-2]
GOALS: Claus Nielsen 6' (0-1), Jan Bartram 33' (0-2)

[1]	Fatah Nasaif			[1]	Troels Rasmussen
[2]	Adnan Dirjal			[2]	Kent Nielsen	
[3]	Khalil Allawi			[3]	Lars Olsen
[4]	Maad Ibrahim			[4]	Pierre Larsen
[12]	Ghanim Oraibi			[5]	Bjørn Kristensen
[6]	Ali Hussein Shihab		[6]	René Hansen
[7]	Haris Mohammed			[7]	John Helt
[16]	Shaker Mahmoud			[8]	Jan Bartram
[18]	Natiq Hashim			[9]	Claus Nielsen
[8]	Ahmed Radhi			[10]	Allan Simonsen [c]
[10]	Hussein Saeed [c]		[11]	Flemming Povlsen
COACH: Eduardo “Edú” Antunes Coimbra (BRA) 	Coach: Josef “Sepp” Piontek (BRD)

[11]	Emad Jassim on for Haris Mohammed [74 mins]
[9]	Karim Saddam on for Shaker Mahmoud [82 mins]

[13]	Jesper Pedersen on for Allan Simonsen [72 mins]
[12]	Ejnar Rahbek on for René Hansen [73 mins]
[15]	Flemming Christensen on for Claus Nielsen [85 mins]

REFEREE: Farouk Tawfiq

03/02/1986 - Al-SHAAB STADIUM, BAGHDAD – 45,000

IRAQ 				2-0	Denmark			[HT: 1-0]
GOALS: Hussein Saeed 45' pen (1-0), Natiq Hashim 63' (2-0)

[1]	Fatah Nasaif			[1]	Lars Høgh
[2]	Adnan Dirjal			[21]	John Stampe 
[3]	Khalil Allawi			[2]	Kent Hansen
[4]	Maad Ibrahim			[3]	Kent Nielsen
[12]	Ghanim Oraibi			[5]	Bjørn Kristensen
[6]	Ali Hussein Shihab		[6]	Pierre Larsen [c]
[7]	Haris Mohammed			[7]	René Hansen
[16]	Shaker Mahmoud			[8]	Jan Bartram
[15]	Natiq Hashim			[9]	Flemming Christensen
[8]	Ahmed Radhi			[10]	Mogens Hansen 
[10]	Hussein Saeed [c]		[11]	Flemming Povlsen
COACH: Eduardo “Edú” Antunes Coimbra (BRA) 	Coach: Josef “Sepp” Piontek (BRD)


[13]	Jafar Abdul-Hussein on for Shaker Mahmoud [85 mins]

[13]	Lars Olsen on for Jan Bartram [46 mins]
[12]	Ejnar Rahbek on for Kent Nielson [56 mins]
[15]	Søren Juel Jensen on for Flemming Povlsen [64 mins]

REFEREE: Salah Abdul-Karim (Iraq)
CAUTIONS: Flemming Povlsen 56'.

List of International Matches Iraq

About this document

Thanks to Ahmad Sabtiy for the details on the first game, and also on the names of the Danish team.

Prepared and maintained by Hassanin Mubarak for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Hassanin Mubarak (
Last updated: 14 Feb 2007

(C) Copyright Hassanin Mubarak and RSSSF 2007
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.