Focus on asia

Patience and planning key to West Asian progress

September 16, 2010
By John Duerden
To be in Jakarta on July 29, 2007 was to witness the football story of the year as Iraq won the Asian Cup after defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0. The 60,000 or so locals were firmly on the side of the victors from the beginning, buying cheap Iraq football shirts along with the even cheaper Nasi Goreng - an Indonesian fried rice dish - on sale from the mobile trucks. It wasn't just a football story, it made headlines around the world as the war-torn nation conquered the continent.

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