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The rebel World Cup: on the road with Kurdistan's football team

They’re denied entry to the official tournament, but can Kurdistan’s footballers take home the trophy at the alternative contest? A wall-length trophy cabinet dominates the office of Safeen Kanabi, the portly president of the Kurdistan Football Association (KFA). It is late April, far from the peak of summer, yet the air conditioning inside this back room at Irbil FC’s stadium in northern Iraq is on full blast – respite from the heat consuming the concrete sprawl outside, just 40 miles from the nearest frontline with Islamic State.
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