On July 28, Iraq's national soccer coach Akram Ahmed Salman resigned following death threats and then fled Baghdad for the comparative safety of the Kurdish autonomous region in the north of the country.
"The reason for the threat is not because of the performance of the team or my work with them, but because of my links to the Iraqi sports federation," he
at the time.
"I am paying the price for the rivalries between various sports officials.
"The team needs a proper atmosphere in which to train, but now there is violence all around us that can strike at any time," he
Two weeks earlier, most of Iraq's Olympic Committee
, including its chairman, were kidnapped in a brazen daylight raid by men in military-style uniforms and vehicles.