Basra officially chosen to host 25th Arabian Gulf Cup next year

Basra officially chosen to host 25th Arabian Gulf Cup next year
Basra will host the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 April 2021

Basra officially chosen to host 25th Arabian Gulf Cup next year

Basra officially chosen to host 25th Arabian Gulf Cup next year
  • Decision to award tournament to Iraqi city confirmed Monday at Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation general assembly

RIYADH: The Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation has confirmed that the Iraqi city of Basra has been chosen to host the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup.

The announcement was made following a meeting of the federation’s general assembly on Monday.

The tournament had initially been scheduled to take place this year, but a final date has not been confirmed and it will now go ahead in 2022.

“During the visit (to inspect Basra) the working team met Adnan Dirjal, (Iraqi) minister of youth and sports, who conveyed the greetings of the prime minister and the Iraqi government, and during the meeting touched on Iraq’s plan to develop the city of Basra in general, through the implementation of a number of investment projects,” the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported, quoting a federation statement.

Dirjal, a former Iraqi international footballer and national team coach, said: “All the requirements for holding the championship will be met. Iraq is keen to host the 25th Gulf Cup and confirm its ability to do so and would not have submitted a bid if it did not believe it was capable of holding it.”

The minister also praised the support of other members of the federation.

“Had it not been for the Gulf countries’ support for (our bid) to host the Gulf Cup, Iraq would not have taken these advanced steps in preparing for the tournament,” he added.

It will be only the second time that Iraq has hosted the Gulf Cup since its inception 51 years ago, after holding the competition in the capital Baghdad in 1979.

Expected to take part alongside the hosts will be current holder Bahrain, 10-time winners Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen.