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The head of the Interim Authority of the Iraqi Football Association, Iyad Bunyan, expressed his hope that the support shown by the Gulf Football Associations in supporting the Iraq file for hosting the Gulf 25 in Basra would be a great motivation to organize an important version of the tournament on the ground of Iraq.

“We greatly appreciate the position of the Qatari Federation, which reflected the state of altruism and real support for Iraq’s endeavors to host the tournament, a noble position in attributing the Basra file,” Bunyan told France Press in the first response after Qatar’s apology, the alternative country to host the next edition of the tournament.

He added, “We also appreciate the handling of the heads of the Gulf federations on their brotherly dealings and their serious steps in achieving the aspirations of the Iraqis to host the tournament, which means a lot to the football fans in Iraq and the region.”

The Qatar Game Federation showed its support in giving the Iraqi Federation a full opportunity to host the Gulf Cup 25, following its official apology to the Arab Gulf Cup Federation for not hosting the tournament scheduled for the end of this year or early next year as an alternative country.

“I expect that next week will witness an upcoming visit by a delegation from the Gulf Cup Federation to Basra (south of the country), to see the facilities and infrastructure, as early preparations are continuing to receive this event,” Bunyan added.

“We can say we have traveled more than half the distance in terms of hosting the Gulf Arab 25,” he explained.

The Iraqi official urged “government institutions to show early broad cooperation with this awaited event for football fans in Iraq and the region. We hope the government will support us in hosting and we have great confidence in Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and Minister of Youth and Sports Adnan Darjal in securing the means for integrated success.”

In recent months, the Iraqi government has been keen to complete all the requirements of the Sports City in Basra, as well as the interest of the local government there in the context of the desire to host a long-awaited tournament in Iraq.

The sports city in Basra includes a modern large international stadium with a capacity of more than 60,000 spectators, as well as another stadium with a capacity of 30,000 spectators, sub-stadiums for training, and hotel, health and service buildings.

Iraq hosted the fifth edition of the tournament, in the capital, Baghdad, in 1979, and went on to win its title.

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