Iraq: no World Cup football on TV for most

Bush and Iraq, cartoonFrom Middle East Online:

ART spoils World Cup celebrations in Iraq

By Khalil Jalil – BAGHDAD

World Cup fever may be sweeping the world, but many war-weary Iraqis fear they will miss out on the spectacle.

The country’s public broadcaster has no retransmission rights for the matches and the cost of subscriptions to satellite broadcasters are beyond the means of many.

Despite the bombings, kidnappings and killings, power blackouts and fuel shortages, passion for the game endures in a country that used to be a dominant regional force in the sport and qualified for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

“I can’t buy a decoder for the Arab channel that is showing all the matches,” lamented 22-year-old student Mustafa Abdel Sattar as he watched a steady stream of customers inspecting units in a Baghdad store.

For 175 dollars (135 euros), subscribers receive a special package that includes all the World Cup 2006 matches broadcast by the ART channel.

But demand had been so strong that the service was expanded to annual subscriptions costing 281 dollars and 355 dollars for ART’s sports programs, said salesman Ahmed Hussein, 32.

Even for those paying that much, it is very doubtful whether electric power will be on.

1 thought on “Iraq: no World Cup football on TV for most

  1. Online sources of information such as articles, essays and blogs are the best ways to acquire relevant information.


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