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Hall of Fame

Assyrian Sports Hall of Fame - Soccer

The Divine



Ammo with the
Iraqi Military


Ammo Baba

Ammo Baba Poem
By: Ninos Nirari

Brief History

Started Shining on the National level in 1951 with the Iraqi School Soccer Varsity.

He then developed and sharpened his skills alongside great players such as Ammo Samson, Youra Eshaya, Awia Shawel, and Hermiz Gabriel when he joined the Assyrian Soccer Club in Habbanniah, Iraq. In 1954 he joined the Iraqi Air Force soccer team for which he played until 1964.

Ammo Baba, exploded into the Arab football scene at the tender age of 17 in a schoolboys football tournament in Cairo for the Iraqi schoolboys against the home nation Egypt in the early 1950s.

He is still revered by generations who never saw him play, was an instinctive out and out goal scorer, known for his bicycle kicks, heading ability, defense splitting pace and the power of his shooting. He had an opportunist's eye for goal but also displayed magnificent technique and virtuoso skill of a great centre forward.

Moved to Employee Football Club in 1951 replacing legendary striker Aram Karam, where he played with the likes of Captain Hermiz Gabriel, Ammo Samson and Youra. In 1954 he signed for Baghdad based club Al Qowa Al Jawea where he was a huge success, scoring bundles of goals, season after season. The prolific marksman was once the captain of a short-lived Arab national team during the mid Fifties, in a Nasser-inspired experiment in Arab unity which failed due to the fact that, which Ammo Baba puts it 'no one wanted to play against us'. After brilliant scoring exploits for both Iraq and Al-Qowa Al-Jawea, he was spotted by English 2nd Division side Notts County and was offered a contract to play for them, but when the call from Meadow Lane came, he could not leave the country, due to a sudden coup led by the Iraqi General Abdul-Karim Qasim on July 14, 1958.

His playing career came to a premature end at the peak of his game due to a serious injury in 1965. In a career in which he scored around 850 goals, Ammo Baba is still seen as one of the Assyrian worlds most talented strikers.

He moved into management after his retirement and took over the helm at Public Transport Club in 1966. He became the Iraqi Military team manager in 1971, winning the World Military Cup twice and later became Iraqi national manager in 1979 helping the national team to qualify for 3 Olympics Games (Moscow '80, Los Angeles '84 and Seoul '88), winning the Gulf State Championship twice, Asian Games Finals victory over Kuwait in 82 and helping Iraq to qualify for their first World Cup appearance in Mexico '86. Ammo Baba is recognized as one of the most successful Iraqi Assyrian Footballers and managers of all time.

He was named in 2000 as the SPORT MAN OF THE CENTURY in IRAQ. Watch the BBC Interview.

Ammo Baba passed away in Baghdad, Iraq and was given a states funeral that is only given to royalty and statesmen.

The Mass

Part 1

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 His Will

The Funeral

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5


He scored approximately 850 goals in his playing career which included 85 international games.

Ammo Baba Coaching Record
Year G W L T Notes
1978 - 1979 18 14 2 2 1978 Asian Games - 4th place
Gulf Cup 1979 - Champions
1981 - 1984 64 34 9 20 Merdeka Tournament 1981 - Champions
1982 Asian Games - Champions
Qualified for 1984 Olympics
Gulf Cup 1984 - Champions
1987 - 1988 40 23 6 11 Qualified for the 1988 Olympics games
1988 Gulf Cup - Champions
1988 - 1989 12 4 4 4 1988 Arab Nations Cup - Champions
1993 4 1 0 3  
1996 2 2 0 0  
1996 2 2 0 0  
1997 1 1 0 0  
Total 143 81 21 40  

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Last Updated :December 01, 2015

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