25 soccer players injured as pitch roof collapses in Iraq

Mosul residents play soccer on a pitch in the liberated eastern part of the city AP

Dhi Qar ( – Twenty-five Iraqi players were wounded Wednesday after a roof of a football pitch collapsed during a Ramadan soccer tournament in Dhi Qar governorate.

Iraqi news website Baghdad Today quoted a security source as saying that the footballers were playing a game in al-Dawaia district, north of Dhi Qar governorate, when the upper covering of the football pitch fell on them.

The source noted that the “roof collapsed due to a strong storm that hit the governorate,” adding that all the injured soccer players were moved to hospital for treatment.

Soccer tournaments are regular in the nights of the holy fasting month of Ramadan with amateur and professional footballers from almost all Muslim countries showing great enthusiasm to take part in these competitions.

It is the first Ramadan in Iraq since the defeat of Islamic State last year. Since the militant group seized control of large swathes of Iraq in 2014, Iraqi cities have seen a large uptick in Islamic State terror attacks.

Under the Islamic State rule, strict rules were imposed on the football game, including a dress code that forced players not to wear logos or brand names on their football shirts because the militants considered them to be idolatrous.

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