FIFA helps football return to Iraq, Syria

Iraq will be allowed to play friendly matches at home again following approval from FIFA. (AFP)

FIFA’s ruling executive committee has taken steps to support football in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq has been judged safe enough to host international friendlies after not staging a match since September 2011.

However, world football’s governing body did not specify if Iraq can host Japan in a World Cup qualifying match on June 11.

Iraq has played World Cup ‘home’ matches in neutral Doha, Qatar, since a stadium power failure at Irbil when it played Jordan 18 months ago.

Baghdad last hosted an Iraq match in September 2009, and the team has played friendlies in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

FIFA’s board agreed to the Jordan Football Association’s request to donate kit and equipment worth $200,000 to Syrian refugees living in a camp at the countries’ border.

Last Update: Friday, 22 March 2013 KSA 12:29 - GMT 09:29