Iraq banned from hosting WCup, Olympics qualifiers



ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has banned Iraq from playing home qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and 2012 Olympics because of security concerns.

FIFA says it acted because of the “general security situation” in Iraq, and stadium failures in Irbil when Iraq hosted Jordan in a World Cup qualifier on Sept. 2.

The match was suspended for more than five minutes when the stadium lights went off because of a power outage. Jordan won 2-0.

Iraq must nominate an alternative country to host a World Cup qualifier against China on Nov. 11.

Iraq’s next scheduled home Olympic qualifier match is against Australia on Nov. 23.

Iraq has played competitive matches in Irbil, 217 miles north of Baghdad, because visiting teams objected to playing in the capital.