Muscat, April 27 -
The Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF) announced on Monday that Basra city will host the 25th edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup and Kuwait will be the standby venue. The decision was made during the exceptional general assembly meeting of the AGCFF which was held in Doha and remotely for some other members who could not join the meeting physically due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
Shaikh Salim al Wahaibi, Chairman of Oman Football Association, Dr Jassim al Shukaili, Vice-Chairman of OFA and Fahad al Raisi, Secretary-General of OFA, were Oman’s representatives and joined the meeting remotely.
The meeting was chaired by Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al Khalifa in presence of all the members. During the assembly general meeting, the GCC representatives voted for Basra city to host the GCC showpiece event. All the members assured their full support to Iraq to organise this championship. The GCC members also recommended to Fifa to lift the ban on holding international football matches in Iraq.
On the other hand, an Iraqi high-level delegation headed by Adnan Dargal, Minister of Youth and Sports, visited the Sultanate on Saturday. The purpose of the visit was seeking for the Sultanate support to Iraq’s bid to host the GCC football event. Shaikh Rashad bin Ahmed al Hinai, Under-secretary for Sports and Youth at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, and Shaikh Salim al Wahaibi met the Iraqi delegation in presence of OFA’s officials. Iraqi delegation confirmed that the all the projects and investments related to GCC Gulf Cup are going as per the plan towards successful tournament organisation.
During the past few months, an inspection team by AGCFF visited Basra city many times before raising the proper evaluation and recommendations to the board and general assembly to take the decision.
The Iraq government expressed their full commitment to host the prestigious event. In the past few years, the security element was always behind the shifting of the tournament from Iraq to another country. The 25th edition of the championship is scheduled to be held in Basra city during the end of this year if there is no further announcement of the delay due to the pandemic situation.
Adil Al Balushi