ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish footballer Jiloan Hamad has left Swedish club Hammarby to sign a two-year contract with Incheon United in South Korea’s K League 1.
Hamad signed for the South Korean club on Tuesday. After passing his medical, the club officially presented him to fans on social media.
Incheon United will begin their 2019 season at home to Jeju United on March 2.
“I’m looking forward to this new challenge, and I hope to bring joy and happiness to all of you fans out there. It will be a good season this year,” Hamad said in a message to his new club’s supporters.
The Kurdish footballer spent two seasons with Swedish side Hammarby, making 54 appearances in total and scoring 15 goals. He also played a significant part in the club’s 2018 Allsvenskan season, helping his team to finish in fourth place, narrowly missing out on UEFA Europa League qualification.
“Thank you for two wonderful years,” Hamad wrote to Hammarby fans on Twitter.
The Kurdish athlete began his football career in 2006 when he signed for local club BK Forward in Sweden. He would go on to play for Malmö FF, making 127 appearances and scoring 22 goals.
In 2014, Hamad signed for German club 1899 Hoffenheim, during which he spent a couple of seasons out on loan to the club’s division two side before a move to Standard Liège in Belgium.
Hamad has represented the Swedish national team eight times at senior level. However, he was not in the squad which traveled to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
The 28-year-old footballer was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, but his family originates from Ranya, in the Kurdistan Region's province of Sulaimani.
Editing by John J. Catherine