(MANAMA-AFP) – The Saudi city of Jeddah has replaced Basra in Iraq as host of the next Gulf Cup football championship, the president of the Bahrain football federation said on Tuesday.
The decision to transfer the tournament initially slated for December was taken due to the ban on Iraq’s hosting of international matches imposed by world football’s governing body FIFA .
“It was decided to transfer the 22nd edition of the Gulf Cup from Basra to Jeddah,” explained Bahrain Football Association President Shaikh Ali ben Khalifa Al-Khalifa after a meeting of the presidents of the football associations of Gulf countries.
“The next edition will take place in Basra on condition that FIFA lift their ban on Iraq hosting international competitions,” he added.
Iraq had also been due to host the previous edition of the regional event which was eventually hosted in Bahrain because of security concerns and delays in building infrastructure.
The event will include teams from Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.