The World Cup qualifiers between Iraq and the UAE will not be held in Baghdad
The Iraqi Federation for that sport announced, on Wednesday, that the match between Iraq and the Emirates, initially scheduled in Baghdad within the qualifying stage for the 2022 World Cup, will be held in a neutral country, explaining that the procedure is due to security reasons. reasons.
It is not clear at the moment which country will host the match, which is scheduled for a week only, on Thursday, March 24th.
An official from the Iraqi Football Association, quoting the official Iraqi News Agency, spoke about Jordan, but another official said that there are attempts to persuade FIFA to reverse its decision.
The Emirates Football Association confirmed the change of stadium, without mentioning that the match will be in Jordan.
The Iraqi News Agency quoted the official of the Iraqi Football Association, Muhammad Fahan, as saying that “the decision was taken after the recent missile launches that reached Erbil,” the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region (north).
On Sunday, Iran admitted firing missiles at Erbil, claiming that they were targeting an Israeli “strategic centre”. It denied some accusations by the Kurdish authorities, who denied the existence of this type of unit in their territory, and confirmed that the missiles were targeting the US consulate in Erbil.
Youssef Fall, the Iraqi Football Association’s liaison officer, told AFP that FIFA had confirmed “covering the costs of organizing the match outside Iraq in a neutral stadium.”
The change of stadium dampens the enthusiasm of Iraq, which announced on February 27 the lifting of the veto imposed by FIFA on the organization of international matches in his country.
Baghdad has been deprived of international football matches for years due to instability and recurring conflict in the region.
In January, Al-Madina Stadium in Baghdad hosted a friendly match between Iraq and Uganda. It is the first international match organized in the Iraqi capital since it hosted Liberia in 2013, according to FIFA.
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