Encouraged by lifted ban, Iraq wants to host Asian contest

Baghdad ( Iraq is eager to host a Western Asian football championship that is scheduled for next November, its football association said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Abdel-Khaleq Masoud, Iraqi Football Association chief, said the Western Asian Football Federation inquired in a letter whether Iraq was willing to host the national teams tournament scheduled for November.

He said the Iraqi side responded positively, and particularly set Basra province as the host city.

Masoud pointed that the competition represents a good chance to prove that Iraq is qualified for a total lift of the ban imposed on most of its fields.

Iraqi pitches have not seen internationals games since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait under late leader Saddam Hussein based on a FIFA decision that excluded domestic matches.

But last March, FIFA decided to allow international matches to be staged in the cities of Erbil, Basra and Karbala.

Late February, Iraq’s national team hosted an international friendly with Saudi Arabia in Basra, their first on Iraqi playfields in 40 years.


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