FIFA bans Iraq from hosting matches

Updated: 24 September 2011 00:26 IST

FIFA have barred Iraq from hosting football matches, including qualifiers for the upcoming Olympics and World Cup, until further notice, an Iraqi Football Association (IFA) official told AFP on Thursday.

FIFA bans Iraq from hosting matches

Baghdad:

FIFA have barred Iraq from hosting football matches, including qualifiers for the upcoming Olympics and World Cup, until further notice, an Iraqi Football Association (IFA) official told AFP on Thursday.

Iraq had previously hosted games at the Francois Hariri Stadium in Arbil, most recently on September 2 when the hosts and 2007 Asian champions lost 2-0 to Jordan.

"We have received a message from FIFA that says that Iraqi football matches are not allowed from now on in Francois Hariri stadium, and they must be transferred out of the country to a place chosen by Iraq within 10 days," IFA Secretary Tareq Ahmed told AFP.

Ahmed said the decision was taken by FIFA following the September 2 match due to the poor administration and organisation surrounding it.

In particular, the match was delayed for 10 minutes because of a power cut, and the stadium appeared to have significantly more spectators than its capacity of 12,400.

Arbil is the capital of the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, which is widely seen as much safer than the rest of the country.

Iraq are currently third in Group A of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, behind Jordan and China, but ahead of Singapore. They next play China in Shenzhen on October 11.

The country are also last in Group B of Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics, behind Uzbekistan, Australia and the UAE.

Topics : France Mexico South Africa Republic of Ireland Football Federation Internationale de Football Association
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