Iraq appeals to Bahrain for footballer’s release

The president of Iraq’s Football Association says the country is

appealing with Bahraini authorities to release an Iraqi player who

was detained during anti-government protests in the Gulf

kingdom.

Najeh Hamoud says Iraq is trying to ”secure the release” of

Zulfiqar Naji, a 16-year-old player on the junior team for Bahraini

club Al Muharraq.

The player’s father, Abdulameer Naji, says his son was taken

into custody from their Bahrain home in April on suspicion of

participating in protests.

At least three players for Bahrain’s national team have been

detained during months of political turmoil. One of them was

sentenced to two years in prison.

Last week, Bahrain’s football officials assured FIFA that

national team players haven’t been disciplined during the

unrest.