Saudi Arabian-funded 100,000-seater stadium in Iraq to be built in Baghdad

The Basra Sport City stadium where Iraq beat Saudi Arabia in a friendly last week. (Wiki Commons Media)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Saudi Arabian-funded 100,000-seater stadium in Iraq to be built in Baghdad

LONDON: Iraq Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said the new football stadium to be funded by Saudi Arabia will be situated in Baghdad and be able to host 100,000 spectators.
It was announced Tuesday that King Salman had offered to pay for the construction of a new arena following a telephone call with Al-Abadi on Monday evening, but no further details were given.
Al-Abadi used his weekly press conference to expand on details of the collaboration and how it arrived on the back of the first football match on Iraqi soil between the two sides in almost 40 years.
“I have received a phone call from the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz,” he said. “He hailed Iraqi’s victory (in the friendly match between the two sides last week) and expressed his preparedness and commitment to expanding positive relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at different levels — economical, commercial, communal, cultural, etc.— a t all levels that are of interest for the two countries.
“He also offered Saudi Arabia’s contribution to build a main stadium in Iraq that accommodates 100,000 people. We have welcomed the initiative and it was proposed today to the Cabinet.”
Al-Abadi said he has instructed his Cabinet to set up a task force to drive the build of the biggest stadium in Iraq, eclipsing the 65,000 venue at Basra Sports City.
“The Cabinet gave its directives to form a committee consisting of a group of key ministries concerned with this project,” Al-Abadi said. “The committee will consist of the Cabinet’s secretariat, the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Higher Education, which includes the Center of Urban and Regional Planning
“It will handle developing the general framework for establishing the stadium, which will be the main stadium. 100,000 people is not a small number. We must pick a suitable location in Baghdad along with the stadium’s own additional facilities.
“The stadium will be established under the supervision and guidance of a higher Iraqi-Saudi coordinating council, which will specify the location and design in addition to following up on the project’s progress. The outcomes and progress of the committee’s work will be presented to the Cabinet.”


Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain under investigation once again over financial fair play rules

Updated 24 September 2018
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Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain under investigation once again over financial fair play rules

  • French champions again in the spotlight over possible financial fair play irregularities.
  • In June, UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body closed its investigation only to re-open it just a month later.

PARIS: UEFA said on Monday it had ordered accusations that Paris Saint-Germain has broken its financial fair play rules to be referred to its financial unit “for further investigation.”
European football’s governing body initially opened an investigation into the Qatari-owned club’s spending in September 2017 under pressure from some of Europe’s biggest clubs after the French club signed Brazilian midfielder Neymar for a world-record €222 million ($261 million).
Within weeks the club had also agreed a deal to sign teenage striker Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for €180 million.
In June, UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) closed its investigation only to re-open it just a month later.
UEFA said on Monday the case had now been referred “back to the CFCB Investigatory Chamber for further investigation.”