Sports

FIFA Lifts 30-year Iraq Match-hosting Ban

VARThe three-decade match-hosting ban placed on Iraq by the world football governing body, Fifa has been lifted.

The football body has given the cities of Arbil, Basra and Karbala the go-ahead to stage official matches.

This was disclosed by the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, after a meeting of the Fifa council in Bogota.

“We are allowing international matches to be staged in the cities of Arbil, Basra and Karbala,” he said.

Iraq will host Qatar and Syria for a friendly tournament starting on March 21 in Basra.

“FIFA has given the green light for the resumption but the organisers of the championship must take the final decision,” added Infantino.

However, requests to host games in Baghdad, the capital city, have not been acceded to though the body promised to keep studying it.

Iraq has not played full internationals on home turf since Kuwait invaded it in 1990.

The ban was briefly lifted in 2012 but was put back after a power outage interrupted the match between the Iraqi national team and Jordan.

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