Muhammad Al-Askari, the Ministry of Defense Spokesman, talked about soccer and the Iraqi Premier League during an interview with the Sports Channel.
Al-Askari, a past Al-Quwwa Al-Jawiyya player, said, "There should be 16 clubs participating in the Iraqi Premier League, to improve the level of competition." He added, “Some of the clubs participating in the League are ‘popular’ teams not up to an Iraqi club’s standard. This is because these teams—unaffiliated with any institution—lack financial support.”
As for the current season, Al-Askari predicted that Erbil, as in the last two years, will win the league championship, and that Ahmad Salah will give Erbil its title. He also predicted that Al-Najaf will take second place.
Al-Askari spoke about Al-Zawraa’s struggles this season, suffering from financial distress. He said, "If Al-Zawraa had half the financial support we gave to Al-Quwwa Al-Jawiyya or Al-Jaish, they would have been able to make their fans happy this season." Al-Askari added that the president of Al-Zawraa, Salam Hashim, and the president of Al-Karkh Club asked the Ministry of Defense for financial support.
In conclusion, Al-Askari wished the Iraqi national soccer team success in its difficult participation in the 2009 Confederations Cup Championships.