Iraq’s National Soccer Team To Play Friendly Match In West Bank

Iraq’s national soccer team is slated on Thursday for the first-time ever to travel to the West Bank, where it will face off in a friendly match against the Palestinian squad. “A Palestinian delegation will wait for the Iraqi team in Amman, [Jordan] and escort it to Ramallah,” an Iraqi team official confirmed to AFP. Most Arab national teams have in the past refused to make the journey due to Israel’s military control over the West Bank, which was captured from Jordan in the 1967 war. Iraq, which fought against Israel in that conflict in addition to those in 1948 and 1973, is still technically in a state of war with the Jewish state. Provided Israel grants permission to the Iraqis to transit to the West Bank, the soccer game will be held on Saturday in Ramallah. Meanwhile, the “beautiful game” turned somewhat ugly for Iran this week, with Adidas announcing it will no longer provide clothing and equipment to the Islamic Republic’s national soccer team; this, in response to pending U.S. sanctions. The move follows Nike’s decision in June, just ahead of the World Cup, to renege on a commitment to provide cleats to the Iranian national club.

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