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Yaser Kasim

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Yaser Kasim
Kasim with Swindon Town in 2014
Personal information
Full name Yaser Safa Qasim Al-Qadefaje
Date of birth (1991-05-10) 10 May 1991 (age 28)
Place of birth Karrada, Baghdad, Iraq
Playing position Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Örebro SK
Youth career
2006 Fulham
2007–2010 Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 (0)
2012Luton Town (loan) 11 (1)
2013Macclesfield Town (loan) 5 (0)
2013–2017 Swindon Town 122 (7)
2017–2019 Northampton Town 6 (0)
2019 Örebro SK 10 (0)
National team
2012 Iraq U23 1 (0)
2014– Iraq 19 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 August 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 February 2018

Yaser Safa Qasim Al-Qadefaje (Arabic: ياسر قاسم‎; born 10 May 1991) is an Iraqi footballer who is a central midfielder, playing for Örebro SK and the Iraq national team.

Early life

In 6 age Kasim left Iraq with his family to Jordan and after spending a year in Jordan where he experienced his first taste of school, the family arrived in England.[1] His mother told of a story of when he was young, kicking a ball in their second floor flat in West London, the peppy Yaser would break everything at home and have the neighbours below complaining about her son. They told her to take him to the park to play. She remembered one amusing memory of Yaser telling her to stand in goal so he could take shots at her![2]

Later Yaser's parents would take him to the Westway Sports Centre, paying £2 pound a week to play a variety of sports. They wanted him to take up tennis and he was a competent player however he pleaded to his parents to allow him to play football, his true passion.[2]

That passion for football was sown in the city of Baghdad. His father recounted when the family were living in Baghdad where his son was returning home with his filthy clothes knee deep in mud. One local shopkeeper once told Yaser's father “What kind of player is your son, he’s fighting everyone and taking on everyone!” [2] The player explained how much both his parents had sacrificed for him and his siblings by leaving behind Baghdad under UN sanctions in the early 90s for London for a better life and mentioned that it “completes his heart,” when he returned to Iraq and the national team and put on the shirt on because of what his parents had given up and thanked them for all they had done for him.[2]

One of the significant moments in his career and a turning point in his life came when at the age of 18 he turned down a professional contract at Tottenham Hotspurs feeling that he would not get the opportunity progress at the club having seen other players languish in their reserves. “I spent nearly a year out of football,” Yaser said.[2] “It was a very tough year but the one person that was there for me was my dad. So I really appreciated that.”[2] That year and half out of football had a profound effect on the player and made him mentally stronger and that much more eager to succeed in a sport he knew he could play at the top level.[2]

Club career

His career in England started in the youth teams at Premier League side Fulham. A coach at one of the sport centres that Kasim frequented took him to Fulham and he joined the youth setup there but left after a few months and switched to North London club Tottenham Hotspur.[1]

He joined the youth setup at Spurs in 2007 and remained until his 18th birthday with the club. He departed the club in the summer of 2010, after turning down a pro contract, claiming that he did not feel the club had the player's best interest in mind.[2] He joined Brighton & Hove Albion shortly after.[3]

Brighton & Hove Albion

He joined Brighton & Hove Albion in October 2010, signing a short-term contract until January 2011.[4] On 20 November, Kasim was an unused substitute during the 2–2 draw against Bristol Rovers.[5] and during January 2011 it was revealed that he had signed a new short-term contract until 30 June.[6] On 7 May 2011, Kasim made his debut for Brighton starting against Notts County.[7]

On 21 May 2013, Kasim was released by Brighton.[8]

On 12 July 2012, Kasim joined Conference Premier side Luton Town on a six-month loan deal.[9] He played as a defensive midfielder through Luton's pre-season games, establishing himself as a first-team regular, and debuted for the club on 11 August in a 2–2 draw with Gateshead.[10][11]

On 8 February 2013, Kasim joined Conference Premier side Macclesfield Town on an initial one-month loan.[12]

Swindon Town

The midfielder finally found regular first team football at the County Ground after an unproductive spell at Brighton & Hove Albion and loans stints at Macclesfield Town and Luton Town.[13] Yaser signed a three-year deal with Swindon Town after a trial with the club. Despite being at the club for a few months, he was subject to a deadline day bid from an unknown championship side on deadline day that was rejected. In his first season with the club, Kasim played 45 times for the club, forming a midfield partnership with Australian Massimo Luongo. Manager Mark Cooper made him an instrumental part of the team, the team also reached the final of the Southern section of the JPT but lost on penalties to Peterborough United. Yaser converted his penalty. Yaser scored his first goal for the club on 21 December 2013. Scoring a goal in the 77th minute vs Coventry City. He scored his second goal in a 2-1 win over Peterborough United.[14] In October 2013, Kasim signed a contract extension keeping him at the club till 2016.[15] He received a one match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, he missed a league fixture vs Port Vale. The 2013/14 season ended with Swindon missing out on a place in the promotion play-offs as they finished 8th overall.[16]

In his second season with Swindon, Yaser played 41 games, scoring three goals in all competitions. His first goal came against Crewe Alexandra in League One, his second came against Chesterfield in the same competition, while the last was against former club Brighton & Hove Albion in the league up. Swindon finished 4th in League One, which meant they qualified to the Championship play-offs. They reached the final but lost to Preston North End, narrowly missing out on promotion. Kasim missed some matches during January due to being called up for Iraq in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, in which Iraq finished 4th.[17]

In his third season in the club, Yaser was an established member of the squad and became the unofficial third captain for the club. He played 29 games, scoring once. A league goal vs Chesterfield in a 1-0 win.[18] Swindon finished in a disappointing 15th position.

In his fourth season with Swindon, the club was relegated to EFL League Two. In his fourth and final season with Swindon Kasim had his Twitter account hacked, while his national coach questioned his desire to play for Iraq, and he spent a large percentage of the season on the medical table compounded by persistent groin and hip injuries – with his club ending the season relegated to the fourth tier of English football![19]

For most of his final year his head coach Luke Williams at Swindon Town turned into his injury spokesman giving weekly updates on his recuperation rather than his football coach and at each press conference it was the same comment “Yaser's situation is ongoing.”[19]

Northampton Town

In the summer of 2017 after he opted to leave Swindon Town, Kasim signed a two-year deal with Northampton Town of League One.[20] He left the club in January 2019.[21]

Örebro SK

In the summer of 2019, Kasim signed for a year with Örebro SK of Allsvenskan.[22]

Career statistics

As of match played 5 May 2018.[23]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brighton & Hove Albion 2010–11 League One 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2011–12 Championship 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2012–13 Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Luton Town (loan) 2012–13 Conference Premier 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 1
Macclesfield Town (loan) 2012–13 Conference Premier 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Swindon Town 2013–14 League One 37 2 1 0 3 0 4[a] 0 45 2
2014–15 League One 38 2 1 0 2 1 3[b] 0 44 3
2015–16 League One 27 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 29 1
2016–17 League One 20 2 2 0 1 0 1[c] 0 24 2
Total 138 8 5 0 7 1 8 0 158 9
Northampton Town 2017–18 League One 6 0 1 0 1 0 2[c] 0 10 0
Career total 145 8 7 0 8 1 10 0 170 9
  1. ^ Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearance(s) in Football League Play-Offs
  3. ^ a b Appearance(s) in EFL Trophy

International career

Kasim made his debut for Iraq against China on 5 March 2014.[24] According to football writer Hassanin Mubarak no player in the history of the Iraq national football team had made his position his own after only 90 minutes, but Yaser Kasim, the Baghdad-born West Londoner, who after one match had starred the midfield in Iraq's final Asian Cup qualifier against China on his debut.[13]

Kasim had refused an earlier call-up prior to the Asian Cup qualifying game with Saudi Arabia, deciding to concentrate on playing for Swindon Town in League One, where he had become a key figure in the club's five-man midfield, which also included Australia's Massimo Luongo. He may also have refused the call-up after he was made to pay his own way to Baghdad from London in the two previous trips with the Olympic side.[13] Yaser along with Ahmed Yasin and Osama Rashid were first selected in the national side in 2011 under Wolfgang Sidka.[13]

2016 Olympic Games

After his projected £1m move to Swansea City fell apart at the last moment, everything fell apart.[19] The Swansea move falling through was the start of his downfall, he went to Spain to train with the Iraqi U-23 where he was expected to be named one of the three over-aged players at the Olympics in Rio, but he was not match fit, a bit overweight and in one warm-up match against Zenit St Petersburg the coach sent him on as a late sub and around 15 minutes later took him off![19] It was to send him a message that he was not pulling his weight in training. He then requested three days leave, stating something about signing a new contract with his club and then went AWOL, switched off his phone and never explained why he had not returned.[19] His withdrawal came as a big surprise. Yaser had been the first overage player selected by the U-23 coach when the player was in Baghdad recovering from an injury but he left unexpectedly.[19] He left and never returned, his mobile was shut and officials from Olympic and Iraq FA were unable to contact him.[19] One Iraq FA official wrote a report on the U-23 team's stay in Europe and recommended Yaser should be suspended.[19] The player never explained fully the decision why he left.[19]

Kasim refused to playing several times for national teams in 2015 & 2016 and 2017.[25][26][27] In September 2016, he attended after pressure from former coach Radhi Shenaishil and claimed an injury.[28] he had left before than a month ago the Olympic team training camp before Rio 2016.[29] In 2017, Kasim Ignore invitations from the new coach Basim Qasim,[30][27] before announcing his retirement.[31] then retreat from retirement after months.[32] After returning from his decision to retire, he played a friendly match against Saudi Arabia national team on 28 February 2018. [33]

International goals

Scores and results list Iraq's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 November 2014 Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh  Oman 1–0 1–1 22nd Arabian Gulf Cup
2. 12 January 2015 Lang Park, Brisbane  Jordan 1–0 1–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
3. 31 March 2015 Khalid Bin Mohammed Stadium, Sharjah  DR Congo 1–0 1–0 Friendly





  1. ^ a b "The Big Interview: Yaser Kasim (Iraq/Swindon Town) | AFC".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mubarak, Hassanin. "Yaser Kasim: 2015 Iraqi Pro Player of the Year". ahdaaf.me.
  3. ^ "Yaser Kasim". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Albion snap up Spurs youngster". The Argus. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Wood handed Albion debut". The Argus. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Whing back, young duo stay". The Argus. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Kasim gets Albion debut". The Argus. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  8. ^ "New Deals for Development Squad players". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Brighton midfielder Yaser Kasim joins Luton Town on loan". BBC Sport. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Adam and JJ to fight it out". Luton Today. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Luton 2–2 Gateshead". BBC Sport. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Kasim joins Stags on loan". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d Mubarak, Hassanin. "Profile of Iraq's 23-Man 2015 Asian Cup Squad".
  14. ^ "Swindon Town vs. Peterborough United - 11 January 2014 - Soccerway".
  15. ^ "Yaser Kasim: Swindon Town midfielder signs extended deal". bbc.co.uk. 3 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Summary - League One - England - Results, fixtures". soccerway.com.
  17. ^ "AFC Asian Cup 3rd/4th Placing: Iraq 2-3 UAE - AFC". www.the-afc.com.
  18. ^ "Swindon Town 1-0 Chesterfield". BBC Sport. 23 April 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mubarak, Hassanin. "We've got to talk about Yaser? Where is Iraq's jewel going?". ahdaaf.me.
  20. ^ "Midfielder - Yaser Kasim - Northampton Town". www.ntfc.co.uk.
  21. ^ https://www.ntfc.co.uk/news/2019/january/yaser_kasim_contract_cancelled/
  22. ^ https://www.expressen.se/sport/fotboll/allsvenskan/irakisk-mittfaltare-forstarker-orebro/
  23. ^ "Yaser Kasim - career statistics - Soccerway".
  24. ^ "Iraq vs. China PR - 5 March 2014 - Soccerway". soccerway.com.
  25. ^ "ياسر قاسم يترك منتخب العراق بظروف غامضة".
  26. ^ "العراقي ياسر قاسم يرد على دعوته للإنضمام للمنتخب".
  27. ^ a b "قاسم: على اللاعب ياسر قاسم ان يعود الى رشده! - وكالة صدى الرياضة". July 2017.
  28. ^ "اتحاد الكرة: ابعاد ياسر قاسم عن المنتخب قرار صحيح من شنيشل". alghadpress.com.
  29. ^ "استبعاد ياسر قاسم عن تشكيلة المنتخب الاولمبي". nrttv.com.
  30. ^ "مع المدرب باسم قاسم استعدادات منتخب العراق لبطولة كاس الخليج23". December 2017.
  31. ^ ""ياسر قاسم" يعلن إعتزاله من اللعب دولياً".
  32. ^ "ياسر قاسم يعلن عبر "فوتبول" التراجع عن قرار اعتزاله الدولي".
  33. ^ "Iraq vs. Saudi Arabia - 28 February 2018".
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