AFC Cup matches postponed
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup Group Stage (West) matches between Al Zawraa Club of Iraq and Bahrain’s Manama Club, scheduled for March 6, 2018, and Iraq’s Air Force Club and Malkiya Club of Bahrain to be played on March 13, 2018 have been postponed.
The AFC agreed to the matches to be staged in Iraq on the basis that both the participating Member Association and the away clubs gave their consent as well as the fact that FIFA approved the venues for international friendly matches. Moreover, AFC Cup matches were played in selected venues in Iraq in 2017.
However, FIFA have emphasised that the lifting of the ban on playing matches in Iraq applies only for international friendly matches and that the AFC Cup matches are not friendly games and therefore cannot be staged in Iraq without a change in the current ruling by the FIFA Council.
As the next FIFA Council is to be held on March 15-16, 2018, the AFC, in order to provide the Iraqi clubs with an opportunity to play the matches on home soil and in accordance with the AFC Cup Regulations 2018 (Article7.3) have decided to postpone the affected matches until April 16 and 17, 2018.
A decision on the venue for the two AFC Cup Group Stage (West) matches will then be made after the FIFA Council considers the issue.