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Iraqi ministers object to Basra soccer tournament being moved

Published: Updated:

Iraq‘s council of ministers objected to the possibility of transferring the next scheduled 22nd Arab Gulf Cup soccer tournament from the country‘s southern city of Basra to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

“The council of ministers have decided to withdraw from the tournament in case the event was moved to Jeddah,” said Jassim Mohammed Jaafar, the youth and sports minister.

The ministers were reacting to news of an upcoming meeting in Bahrain that will discuss the future of the tournament being held in Basra or instead granted to Jeddah.

The council called on Gulf states to support Iraq’s right to host the tournament in line with the existing plan.

Press reports pointed that the possibility of transferring the Gulf championship is due to Basra not having sufficient sports facilities to host the tournament.

The executive FIFA committee decided on Friday to continue the ban of holding any international matches in Iraq as an indicator of the Gulf Cooperation Council‘s decision this upcoming Tuesday about where the regional tournament will be held.