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SBD Global/October 10, 2013/International Football
Al-Hussein Criticises FIFA For Banning Iraq From Hosting International Matches
Published October 10, 2013
IRAQ PULLS OUT: REUTERS' Salman & Smith reported Iraq "has withdrawn" from the '14-15 Gulf Cup of Nations "in protest at a decision to move the tournament from the southern city of Basra to Saudi Arabia, in a spat highlighting the two countries’ worsening relations." The heads of FAs agreed unanimously on Tuesday "to switch the tournament" to the Saudi city of Jeddah, citing "incomplete infrastructure" and FIFA's ban on Iraq hosting int'l matches. Iraq was also due to host the '13 tournament, but this "was moved to Bahrain instead, and the Iraqi cabinet reacted furiously to the latest snub by withdrawing the country’s team" (REUTERS, 10/9).
HISTORY REPEATS: In Dubai, Ashley Hammond reported this is "the second time Iraq’s bid to host the event has been overruled." The 2013 Gulf Cup was moved "from Basra to Manama at short notice." A statement from Iraq’s Ministry of Youth and Sports said, "The decision to withdraw from the tournament was not taken lightly as some people believe. It was based on the knowledge about negative stances. Basra’s application to host the tournament was treated with stringent severity, unlike the case of Yemen, where everybody worked together to ensure the success of the tournament" (GULF NEWS, 10/9).