FIFA weighs letting Iraq host World Cup qualifiers



ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it will decide soon if Iraq is safe enough to host 2014 World Cup qualifying matches again.

FIFA says Friday after meeting an Iraqi delegation, including national team coach Zico, that any decision to lift the existing ban “will be based exclusively on security considerations.”

Iraq is scheduled to host Oman on June 12, after beginning the next qualifying phase away to Jordan on June 3.

FIFA banned Iraq from hosting qualifiers for the World Cup and 2012 Olympics for security reasons, and after a stadium power outage in the Kurdish city of Irbil during a World Cup qualifier against Jordan in September.

Iraq played subsequent World Cup home matches in Doha, Qatar.

Iraq’s current group also includes Australia and Japan.