Iraq will not Host International Matches until Further Notice

SF – Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) is asking Iraq to choose a third country as a location to conduct its remaining preliminary matches to Olympic football Tournaments in London 2012 and all Preliminary matches to the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The organizing committee made the decision due to security reasons.

The third country cannot be any of Australia, UAE or Uzbekistan as they are opponents of Iraq in the qualifying matches for Olympics.

A deadline of October 3 has been set for Iraq to respond to the request by the committee and provide details of the location it chooses.

Francois Hariri Stadium in Erbil located in the autonomous province of Kurdistan of Iraq, was used on numerous times before to host international matches but apparently FIFA has decided that it would be more beneficial to the games that the matches took place outside of Iraq. 

An Iraqi Football authority told reporters that poor management of the past games may have played a major role in committee’s decision.

With the decision Iraq will not be allowed to host international matches until further notice.

Iraq holds third place in Group A of Asian qualifiers for 2014 World Cup in Brazil and is last in Group B of Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games.