FIFA helps football return to Iraq, Syria

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.