Iraq Football Association announced that the city of Mashhad has been chosen to host its home World Cup qualifiers.
Accordingly, Iraq has decided on the Iranian city of Mashhad as the host to its home matches in the third round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification on the grounds that the Stadium is near the city center as well as that a large number of Iraqi nationals live in Mashhad.
Last week, Iraqi Football Association authorities had visited Tehran and Mashhad in order to investigate the circumstances of the two city’s stadiums.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi national soccer team will play against Saudi Arabia at a third venue in case Saudi sports officials raise objections to Iran hosting the game.
Iranian and Saudi football federations are at loggerheads following the severance of Tehran-Riyadh diplomatic ties earlier this year.
Iraq has landed in Group B of the third round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification tournament, and is pitted against Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand.
Iran has been drawn in Group A, and joined South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar and Syria.