The southern Iraqi city of Basra will host the Gulf Cup in January 2023.
President of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF), Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani has applauded Iraq’s effort in preparing for the upcoming Gulf Cup.
The southern Iraqi city of Basra will host the Gulf Cup in January 2023, marking the second time that the country has held the tournament since 1979.
Sheikh Hamad expressed that the AGCFF believes Iraq is entirely qualified to hold the games after reviewing the progress in organising the events.
“We’ve seen the progress made in building of infrastructure and other facilities in our inspection visits to the city, and we’re fully confident of the Iraq Football Association’s ability to present the tournament in the best way possible,” Sheikh Hamad said.
Iraq has been keen on returning the Gulf Cup to its grounds for a long time, but despite Basra being selected to host the three previous editions, the venue was changed due to safety fears.
The city of Basra was finally handed the competition in June of this year.
“Congratulations to Iraq and Basra in particular for the long-awaited approval of hosting the 25th Football Gulf Cup. We promise our people and our brothers in the Gulf that this football festival will be worthy of the name of Iraq and match international standards,” said Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in a tweet.
The Arab tournament was initially set to take place in December 2022 but was pushed back as it was too close to Qatar’s World Cup, which ends on December 18.
Iraq has a special relationship with the Gulf Cup.
The Iraqi national team has won the tournament three times, despite contending in only 14 editions.