FIFA in Basra to review Iraq ban on hosting international football matches



The FIFA team of representatives visited Basra on Monday and will examine the city’s “preparation”, as well as “the security situation in various Iraqi cities,” the Iraqi sports minister said.

World football’s governing body FIFA on Monday sent representatives to Iraq’s main port city of Basra to see if international matches can be staged there again.

Iraq has not been allowed to host such games since widespread protests erupted in 2019, The New Arabic Arab sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported.

The FIFA team’s visit to the southern city follows a request from Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports Adnan Dirjal, who also heads the Iraqi Football Association, to FIFA chief Gianni Infantino for a review of conditions.

The Iraqi minister explained: “The purpose of the committee’s visit to Basra is to determine the state of readiness of stadiums and other facilities in the city, in addition to assessing the security situation for various Iraqi cities.”

This will mean that the committee “will submit its final report to the international federation. [FIFA] after the end of his visit. The committee is made up of three people, ”continued Dirjal.

The FIFA team will spend four days in the country and then decide to revoke the ban.

Iraq are set to play key matches in the coming weeks against countries like Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates in their campaign to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

FIFA has repeatedly imposed restrictions on Iraq’s ability to host international football matches, due to the security situation in the country.

In 2018, Iraq hosted their first international club match in decades when the local Al-Zawraa team faced Lebanese Al-Ahed in Karbala.



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