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FIFA imposes home match ban on Iraq again

Thursday - 7/4/2013, 2:49pm  ET

A man inspects the aftermath of a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Shaab in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Dozens of people killed and wounded when Insurgents unleashed a new wave of attacks in Iraq on Tuesday as part of a series of attacks in a recent uptick in violence across the country that raised concerns over a return to sectarian bloodshed. (AP Photo/ Karim kadim)

ZURICH (AP) -- Iraq has been declared off-limits again for international exhibition soccer games amid a wave of deadly bombings.

Soccer's governing body says it wrote to the Iraqi Football Association and confirmed "the suspension to authorize international friendly matches in the Iraqi territory."

On Tuesday, the latest wave of attacks killed at least 49 people, mostly involving car bombs.

Iraq has played two exhibition games in Baghdad since FIFA lifted a ban in March that had applied since 2011. Most recently on May 27, Iraq lost 1-0 to Liberia.

Iraq remained barred from hosting competitive matches and continued to play home games in Doha, Qatar, during its failed 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Its next scheduled home match is an Asian Cup qualifier in October against Saudi Arabia.


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