BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 15:01 GMT
In Pictures: Football in Falluja

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

The inaugural match of a new children's football league in Falluja, western Iraq, was played on 3 February. Here, headmaster Sheik Adele gives the boys a pre-match pep talk.

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

The league was the idea of US marine Capt Brian von Kraus on his third tour of duty in Iraq. All the equipment was paid for by donations to a US charity Capt von Kraus set up.

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

Some of the boys preferred to play barefoot. Although the sun shone, the weather was too cold for them to play in shorts, so they kept their normal trousers on under their kit.

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

The Iraqi passion for football was intensified by the national team's victory in the 2007 Asian Cup. The organisers of Falluja's league aim to create six teams per age group.

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

The boys were given rare time off from mid-year exams to play the first league match. It ended in an exciting 1-1 draw.

Picture: Capt Brian von Kraus

Capt von Kraus is at the end of his current tour in Iraq. Local leaders will now run the league with one of the newly-arrived Marines, who is a professional US soccer coach.





FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific