Iraq FA president: Japan qualifier “could be” played in Baghdad


Iraq FA president Najih Humoud declared that the World Cup qualifier with Japan could be played at the Al-Shaab subject to an “extraordinary” agreement with their Japanese counterparts to switch the game.

The FA received an answer from FIFA on its request for the qualifier with Japan to be played in Baghdad, which was sent the FA earlier. FIFA praised the recent friendly which took place between Iraq and Syria at the Al-Shaab, but they stressed that the lifting of the ban was limited to friendly matches, and did not include the official matches.

He concluded “FIFA stressed that the qualifier with Japan will be played in Doha, except in the case of an extraordinary agreement between the Iraqi FA and their Japanese counterparts.”

It seems that the Iraq FA have not managed to read FIFA’s rules on match team venues, leaving the switch of venue only a month before the match with Japan on June 11.

Article 19 of FIFA World Cup regulations reads

The venues of the matches shall be fixed by the host association concerned and the matches may only be played in stadiums that have been inspected and approved by FIFA and/or the confederation. The opponents and the FIFA general secretariat shall be notified by the host association at least three months before the match in question is due to be played.

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