FIFA ban on competitive games in Iraq affects AFC Cup clubs

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Asian Football Confederation says it cannot allow two Iraqi clubs to host matches in the AFC Cup this month because of security risks.

The AFC says FIFA’s ban on competitive games being played in Iraq must be upheld, despite the visiting clubs from Bahrain consenting to the group games in Asia’s second-tier club competition.

The FIFA Council is set to discuss the issue at its meeting next week in Bogota, Colombia.

The affected games are two-time defending AFC Cup champion Air Force Club hosting Malkiya, and Al Zawraa hosting Manama.

The AFC says the Iraqi clubs’ home games have been postponed to next month to await a potential change in FIFA’s security ruling.

FIFA currently allows international friendly games to be played in Iraq.

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