The past decades of war and terror in Iraq have taken a toll on the beautiful game in the country. FIFA has routinely imposed bans on hosting international games in Iraq over security and safety concerns.
The last non-friendly game played in the country was a World Cup qualifier in 2011. The capital, Baghdad, hadn’t hosted Iraq’s national team for nine years until Friday. The cities of Basra, Karrbalaa and Erbil were the only three hosting games.