Iraq football team to play first match in Palestinian territories

2018-07-30 20:58

Baghdad - Iraq's national football team is set to travel on Thursday on its first-ever visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank where it will face off against the Palestinian national squad, a team official said Monday.

Iraq fought in wars against Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and has still technically yet to make peace with the Jewish state.

Most teams in Arab countries - many of which do not recognise Israel - refuse to visit the Palestinian territories because Israel control's the West Bank's borders and blockades the Gaza Strip.

But Palestinian leaders have for years called on Arab countries to send sporting and cultural delegations to help ease their isolation.

The friendly match with Iraq will be held Saturday in Ramallah, the West Bank's administrative centre.

"A Palestinian delegation will wait for the Iraqi team in Amman and escort it to Ramallah," Iraqi team official Basil Gorgis told AFP.

The Palestinian team, a FIFA member since 1998, in May squared off against the Iraqi squad in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Read more on:    iraq  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.