Basra Iraq Sports
The southern Iraqi city of Basra, which boasts an ultra-modern stadium, hopes to make money for football fans who are hungry to attend international games after a three to 10-year ban is lifted. Late last month, fans packed their 65,000-seat stadium in Basra for a friendly against Saudi Arabia, and the city is now hosting a mini-tournament between Qatar and Syria. Late last month, Basra's fans watched as they filled their 35,500-seat stadium in a friendly match against the Saudis. Now it is hosting another "mini tournament" against Qatar in Syria, this time at the same time as a World Cup qualifier.
Iraq played in Erbil last month and things were not going well on and off the pitch, but the fact that they were allowed to host a competitive game has made President Gianni Infantino a hero of the country. With the aim of reaching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Iraq is gearing up for it and wants to play in front of its own fans.
Iraqi football fans are also looking forward to 2013, when the golf cup tournament will be held in the new Basra Sports City. A World Cup qualifier between Iraq and Saudi Arabia is also scheduled to take place in the same city. The players want to play this game because it will go down in the history of Iraqi football, "he told FIFA.com.
In addition to the sports stadium, there will be a number of training facilities for Iraqi athletes, including a training facility for the national football team and a covered training center for footballers. Basra Sports City will also have a new stadium and adjacent multi-million dollar sports complex designed by the world's largest sports and entertainment company, Al-Jazira Group. It will also be the first project in Iraq, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and the second in the country.
The Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport wants to use this project to stimulate growth and development while bringing Iraqi athletes onto the world stage. This is part of a national programme led by the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport in Baghdad to build a network of sports facilities.
The Ministry of Sports then decided to build three in Baghdad, rather than one (the other two have already been mentioned), meaning that the proposed capacity of the Olympic Stadium was reduced to about 60,000 seats. King Salman is said to have later promised to increase the capacity of the stadium to the country's largest stadium, Basra Sports City. The country's football stadiums have received the approval of the Iraqi Football Association (IFA), which, according to an Al Jazeera report, led to plans to develop Basrah Sport City.
Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah has also announced plans to provide the country with an international stadium to take part in major sporting events in Asia and around the world. Engineer, whose company designed and built the Basra International Stadium, explained how the improved facilities convinced FIFA to allow football to return to Iraq. Iraqi organizations, which have played a major role in reconstruction and a variety of infrastructure projects, from hospitals to dams, designed and rebuilt the Basra International Stadium.
As Jasem Mohammad Jaffar recently explained at a Peace and Sports Forum in Dubai, the city has the capacity to host 10,000 athletes. The Iraqi government funded the Basra International Stadium, but several other stadiums are currently being planned. Of the 20 projects that have been launched so far, this is the most ambitious, according to Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah.
Consider that Iraq currently has little decent sports infrastructure, but when complete, it will be a major boost for emerging athletes and athletes in the country.
Although Iraq has recently hosted a number of friendly matches, no competitions have been held in the country since 2006. Saudi Arabia had qualified for the World Cup in Russia this summer, while Iraq was eliminated and Iraq was also scheduled to host the 2013 tournament, but the host was moved to Bahrain instead. Iraq's cabinet reacted angrily to the latest snub and withdrew its team. It was decided that Iraq would have to play a friendly against Qatar at the end of the year instead of the usual home match against Bahrain in June.
A FIFA spokesman said in March that Iraq could play at home again, but as violence escalated in the country and Sunni Islamist insurgents, including Al Qaeda, gained ground, the soccer federation withdrew permission. The football ban in Iraq, briefly lifted in 2012, led Fifa to reintroduce it in 2013 after a two-year ban.
Iraq's cabinet was then ordered to set up a task force to build the stadium, which will be dwarfed by a new stadium in the southern city of Basra, home to the country's national soccer team. The project in the southern port city of Basra is driven by a desire to host the first ever World Cup qualifier between Iraq and the United States, scheduled to take place in 2018.