Three members of the Iraqi Olympic team as well as an assistant coach have deserted their country
while in Australia. The four have grown tired of security concerns back home and are seeking political asylum.
Assistant coach Saadi Toma and playing trio Ali Mansour, Ali Khidhayyir and Ali Abbas were not present for the team's flight back home after their 2-0 defeat, with Toma later informing the Iraqi FA by telephone that the quartet had applied for asylum.
"It's because of the deteriorated security situation and violence against athletes in Iraq," explained Tariq Ahmed of the FA.
Labels: 2008 Beijing Olympics, Australia, FIFA, Iraq