— Published 28 February 2022

Iraq can receive

A first in the Gulf. Iraq will host an official football match next month after months of being banned due to political instability and conflict in the country. The Iraqi national team will face the United Arab Emirates on 24 March in Baghdad in a qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in the Asian zone. The match was originally scheduled to be played in Jordan or Qatar, but FIFA has informed the Iraqi Football Federation that its ban on hosting official matches has been lifted. The Iraqi Ministry of Sport confirmed that the international match would be played at the Al-Madina Stadium in Baghdad. FIFA explained on its website that the ban on Iraq had been temporarily lifted in 2019, but quickly reinstated. In the meantime, Iraq continued to play a few friendlies in the city of Basra, but their 2022 World Cup qualifiers were all played on neutral ground in Doha.