Qatar backs lift of FIFA ban on Iraq, supports playing Gulf cup there

Iraq National Football team

Baghdad ( Qatar has voiced support for lifting a ban on Iraq’s soccer fields, and would vote for hosting the next Gulf Cup there, its football federation chief said.

Alsumaria News quoted Hamad bin Khalifa saying during a press conference at the Iraqi football association that Qatar “strongly supports efforts to lift the ban on Iraqi football fields”, adding that this can be achieved both through relations within FIFA as well as the presence of Qatari teams in Iraq.

Bin Hamad said a protocol signed by both organizations recently in Doha will help exchange expertise and boost sports contact both on the national and local teams levels.

“Qatar will not spare a vote for Iraq during the next meeting of Gulf federations which will determine the host country of the 24th ِArabian Gulf Cup,” Bin Khalifa said during the conference.

Last year, FIFA mitigated a ban on hosting friendly and official international games on Iraqi fields, allowing friendly games at Karbala, Basra and Erbil.

Iraq hopes the ban will be completely lifted as the country starts to recover from a three-year presence of Islamic State militants.

Oman won the latest Arabian Gulf Cup trophy last month.

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