Iraq wants FIFA to lift its ban on competitive home internationals, the country's sports minister has said.
The ban was imposed following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but the Iraqi authorities hope that the hosting of Gulf football friendlies in renovated grounds will mean it can be lifted entirely.
The FIFA ban, which covered everything except local matches, was lifted in 2012 but reimposed after a match between Iraq and Jordan was hit by a power outage.
It has been relaxed to allow Iraq...
CHANGSHU -- The hopes of Malaysia making a positive start to the AFC U23 Championship in China suffered a serious blow in their opening game on Wednesday evening as Ong Kim Swee's side were on the wrong side of a 4-1 thrashing by a ruthless Iraq.
Safawi Rashid scored late in the game for the Southeast Asian side, but it was little more than a consolation.
Goals from Mohammed Jaffal, Amjed Attwan, Alaa Mwahi and Hussain Ali gave the nation from west Asia all three points in the Group C encounter.
CHANGSHU -- Ong Kim Swee believes his Malaysia team can spring a surprise during the country's debut appearance at the AFC U23 Championship as they prepare to play former champions Iraq in China on Wednesday.
Malaysia face a potentially daunting task having been drawn to take on Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as the Iraqis, and the step up in class is not lost on coach Ong as he readies his team to face the 2013 winners.
"We can't deny that Iraq is a very good team, based on their record in youth...