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'Highly-volatile' Iraq should remain 'no-go zone' for international football matches

Baghdad, Sun, 15 Apr 2012 ANI

Baghdad, Apr 15(ANI): Professional Footballers Association chief executive Brendan Schwab has said Iraq should remain a no-go zone for international soccer matches because of security concerns.

FIFA is inquiring whether Iraq is safe enough to host 2014 World Cup qualifying matches, including a fixture against Australia.

The footballing authority banned Iraq from hosting qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics, including a match against the Australia, which was shifted to Doha, Qatar, in November last year.

"Circumstances certainly haven't changed from late last year. I'd be a little surprised if we were to play there given what you see and hear on the news about what is still going on over there," quoted Schwab, as saying.

"But like I said, you have to rely on the so-called experts to make the right decision. If they decided to hold a match there they would have to be 100 per cent certain of the security and welfare of everyone," he added.

Iraq is scheduled to host Oman on June 12, after beginning the next phase of the Asian qualifying tournament away to Jordan on June 3. (ANI)

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