The Iraqi Football federation has severed relations with their UAE counterparts after Emirates Club Al-Wehda refused to play an official match in Baghdad, according to INA News Agency. The Emirates club were unwilling to play their Asian Club Championship tie this week against the Al-Zaoura club in Tehran. This move came surprisingly, as Iraq and the Emirates re-established their ties in July 2000 and their sport teams played a friendly match for the Asian World Cup last August. The Iraqi federation’s decision involves putting a halt on player and coach transfers to Emirates clubs as well as ending friendly matches in the UAE.
Since being barred from various sport tournaments after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, several Arab and Asian teams have played in Baghdad. Just recently, a match was held between Qatar’s Al-Wakra and Al-Zaoura in the Asian Club Championship.
Secretary General of the Emirates football federation, Matar Al-Tayer denounced the Iraqi Football federation’s decision, stating that he had not received any official statement of the action.