A group of Iraqi Manchester United football supporters gather at a cafe to watch a match in Baghadad on September 18, 2017. AFP / SABAH ARAR
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Iraqi football supporters decked out in red cram into a cafe in Baghdad to cheer on their shared love -- Manchester United.While revered arenas such as Old Trafford or the Camp Nou may be thousands of kilometers away, supporting some of Europe's best-loved teams offers a rare chance for Iraqi fans to come together and forget the troubles roiling their homeland.The fan club for the five-time European champions was set up in 2011 and is the oldest in Iraq, Kazem points out proudly.Mazen says he turned to supporting a European team because of the dearth of quality in the Iraqi league.Earlier this year, Iraq played its first match at home since 2013 after world governing body FIFA lifted a ban on the national team playing in the country.Bayern Munich fan Anab says that last year the club offered him two places to watch the team take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
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