After weeks of speculation on whether Brazilian coach Zico would be at the helm of the side for the rest of the World Cup campaign, Iraq’s preparations for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Japan are in shambles, with the loss of two key defenders and Zico unhappy with the fitness of one or two senior players.
Three players Basim Abbas, Mustafa Karim and Samar Saeed have been sent home because of injuries ruling them out of the Japan match. First team players left back Basim Abbas (three weeks) and forward Mustafa Karim (a week) and Samar Saeed, who will be out for at least three to four weeks.
Zico had been public after the last World Cup qualifier against Oman about his unhappiness with the lack of fitness of his senior players and that many of the players were without clubs. Zico has since dropped Emad Mohammed and Hawar Mulla Mohammed.
With the squad down to its bare bones there have been reports that two players Karrar Jassim and David Haider were not on the list of players sent to the Japan FA