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U.N. congratulates Iraq on lifting of ban on FIFA games

Iraqi national football team players take part in a training session ahead of their friendly match against Saudi Arabia. Photo: HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI / AFP


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The United Nations have congratulated Iraq on a decision by the international football federation (FIFA) to lift a ban on international matches at the country.

“Congratulations Iraq. Congratulations Iraqi football fans on lifting a 15-year international ban on games at stadiums in cities of Basra, Karbala & Erbil. A clear sign of confidence in improved security and in Iraqi recovery,” a tweet by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq read on Saturday, quoting mission head, Jan Kubis.

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.

“We are allowing international matches to be staged in the cities of Erbil, Basra and Karbala,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino was quoted saying Friday after a meeting of the FIFA Council in Bogota.

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

Qatar and Syria will joint Iraq’s squad for a friendly tournament starting on March 21 in Basra.


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