Iraqi soccer players angered by Bush campaign ads featuring team
PATRAS, Greece -- Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored a goal here on Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium. Though Iraq -- the surprise team of the Olympics -- would lose to Morocco 2-1, it
hardly mattered as the Iraqis won Group D with a 2-1 record and now face Australia in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.
In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations - - and two fewer terrorist regimes."
"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told SI.com through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself."
From correspondents in Washington
August 21, 2004
US President George W. Bush's re-election campaign will continue to run a television advertisement that mentions the Olympics, despite questions about whether that violates the by-laws for the Games.
US Olympic Committee officials had contacted the campaign about the ad and were awaiting a reply, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said in Athens today.
But campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said there were no plans to pull the ad.
They can't even leave politics out of this. It's absolutely shameful.
Iraq are now due to play Italy for the Bronze medal. Best of luck to them!