Simon Freeman, a lifelong football fan and former Sunday Times" Insight Team journalist, has also written for the Evening Standard", Guardian", Mail on Sunday", Vanity Fair", International Herald Tribune" and The Times". He has covered two World Cups and one Olympics and has lectured on journalism in London, the US and the Balkans, and consulted for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting.
'Once Freeman concentrates on just letting events and people speak for themselves he produces a sobering, at times compelling, tale of flickering hope' -- When Saturday Comes 20050901 'This month's most interesting football book by far' -- Bookseller 20050506 'Freeman is at his best, challenging preconceptions and presenting his research in an admirably non-didactic way ... a moving and clear-sighted investigation' -- Fourfourtwo 20051001 'Through a fascinating cast of characters, author Simon Freeman uncovers the full story in all its chilling detail ... A fascinating look at how the beautiful game was used as an ugly front for violence' -- MOD Focus 20051001 'One of the best football books of the year ... hugely readable ... some amazing stories' -- World Soccer 20051001 'Intelligently written and thorough account' -- Global, Essex 20051101 'Compelling and harrowing ... interesting characters ... Freeman has a good story to tell ... he writes well about the nightmarish chaos into which Iraq has descended' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050731 'Baghdad FC reveals a huge amount about Iraq ... comprehensive and informative' -- Metro [London] 20050727 'Simon Freeman, after 200-odd pages of intelligent and thorough research, can only conclude that in football, like everything else in Iraq, the situation is "mad and sad".' -- The Times 20050730 'One of modern football's most compelling tales ... a thought-provoking read ... What Freeman documents with great deftness and empathy is the malevolent manner in which the state infiltrated every area of Iraqi life' -- Scotland On Sunday 20050731 'Brilliantly told, tempering the deluge of horror stories with an easy, personable style ... a piece of social commentary ... it's a welcome one' -- Arena 20050901 '[A] perceptive glimpse of a rotten tyranny going belly up ... [Freeman is ] an honest witness to a brutalised country's hatred for its bungling liberators' -- Literary Review 20050801 'Excellent' -- Sunday Times Travel Magazine 20050901 'Iraq's football story is fascinating' -- Independent 20050819 'Highly readable ... a detailed study of what must rank as one of the darkest episodes in football's history ... draws on a fascinating array of characters' -- Mail on Sunday 20050821 'This perceptive book makes clear that sport in Iraq was and still is a microcosm of the country itself' -- Sunday Times / Culture 20060625 'The fascinating and shocking story of football in Irag, pre- and post-invasion' -- Andrew Baker, Daily Telegraph 20060511 'Freeman's account of the chaos following the 'liberation' makes for grim reading' -- Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday 20060521 'Few [tracts] will be as stark or as accessible as this.' -- Scott Wilson, Southern Daily Echo 20060601 'There are sports stories, and then there are real sports stories. The torture of athletes at the hands of government is about as real as it gets. Simon Freeman ably chronicles one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of sports. It is a fascinating, complex story that demands to be told, and to be read. In many ways, it is the story of Iraq itself' -- Tom Farrey, ESPN 20051104 'Highly readable ... the book draws on a fascinating array of characters to explain what it was like to be a sportsman in Saddam's Iraq' -- Ireland on Sunday 20050821 'The story is a good one ... Freeman does some good delving to reveal these horrors and he provides intriguing portraits' -- Times Literary Supplement 20050819 'Tells of brutality, brief triumph, cowardice, paranoia, boastful self-justification and a thwarted quest for truth ... troubling' -- Traveller 20050901