Kurdistan football team coach elected.
"We trust Mahmud's capability and plans in summoning the players,
Kurdistan Football Association (KFF) secretary Salam Hussein announced on March 17 the appointment of a new coach for the Kurdistan national team, which will host the VIVA World Cup in mid May.
"After several suggestions, all KFF members decided to appoint Abdullah Mahmud as the Kurdistan football team manager for the VIVA World Cup," said Hussein, remarking on Mahmud's great training experience in Kurdistan and Iraq in general.
Having previously played for the giant Erbil Football Club in the early 1980s and after having trained Brusk, Erbil, Peshmarga and Ararat football clubs as well as the Kurdistan national team, Mahmud is regarded today as one of the best coaches of Kurdistan Region.
"We trust Mahmud's capability and plans in summoning the players and achieving good results in the Cup. We plan to hold several meetings with Mahmud in the coming days to discuss player selection and training plans," stated Hussein. Mahmud will have absolute power in making decisions, and KFF will fully support him in his new career, he noted.
After expressing elation over his new career, Mahmud said, "KFF asked me to take the responsibility of training the Kurdistan team in this year's VIVA World Cup and I accepted the request. I will do my best and use all my coaching experiences in order to satisfy not only KFF, but all Kurdish people."
Mahmud said he has been given green light to choose two assistants for himself and a goalkeeper trainer.
Despite winning many titles during his coaching career over the past decade, many sports newspapers and websites criticized KFF for choosing Mahmud whose team, Ararat FC, hasn't played at a high performance level in this year's Kurdistan league and Kurdistan Cup. Some of those who criticize, mostly people from Suleimaniya province, think KFF makes every decision under the influence of politics and believes it should have selected a coach of a team that achieved good results in this year's competitions.
In a response to the criticizers, KFF President Safeen Kanaby said, "We have heard that some people criticized KFF's decision on Mahmud's selection for coaching the Kurdistan team. We would like everybody to understand appointing Mahmud hasn't been decided under the influence of anyone or any political party. We purely make the decision. We have power and right to select any coach we vote for. Mahmud won all the KFF members' votes to coach the Kurdistan team."
Kanaby asks the people of Kurdistan to support and cheer for the Kurdistan team as it attempts to win the 2012 VIVA World Cup at home, and he wants the fans to see the Kurdistan flag rise above all participating team flags.
The New Federation Board, an umbrella association for nations unaffiliated with FIFA, organizes the VIVA World Cup, held every two years. The competition is to be hosted in Kurdistan this year, and 10 teams have so far showed readiness to participate.
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