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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Iraq urges FIFA to end three-decade home internationals ban

Iraq celebrate goal vs. Japan by Mahdi Kamil Shiltagh
Iraq hope they will soon be able to play competitive home internationals again.

Iraq wants FIFA to lift its ban on competitive home internationals, the country's sports minister has said.

The ban was imposed following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but the Iraqi authorities hope that the hosting of Gulf football friendlies in renovated grounds will mean it can be lifted entirely.

The FIFA ban, which covered everything except local matches, was lifted in 2012 but reimposed after a match between Iraq and Jordan was hit by a power outage.

It has been relaxed to allow Iraq...

Malaysia outclassed by Iraq in AFC U23 opener in China

Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson debate whether or not Malaysia can make a big impression at the U23 Asian Championships.
Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down Malaysia U23's upcoming fixtures against Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan.
PJ Roberts delves into JDT's recent signings that will strengthen the Malaysian champions in 2018.

CHANGSHU -- The hopes of Malaysia making a positive start to the AFC U23 Championship in China suffered a serious blow in their opening game on Wednesday evening as Ong Kim Swee's side were on the wrong side of a 4-1 thrashing by a ruthless Iraq.

Safawi Rashid scored late in the game for the Southeast Asian side, but it was little more than a consolation.

Goals from Mohammed Jaffal, Amjed Attwan, Alaa Mwahi and Hussain Ali gave the nation from west Asia all three points in the Group C encounter.

With...

Malaysia ready to upset Iraq in AFC U23 opener - Ong Kim Swee

Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson debate whether or not Malaysia can make a big impression at the U23 Asian Championships.
Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down Malaysia U23's upcoming fixtures against Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan.
PJ Roberts delves into JDT's recent signings that will strengthen the Malaysian champions in 2018.

CHANGSHU -- Ong Kim Swee believes his Malaysia team can spring a surprise during the country's debut appearance at the AFC U23 Championship as they prepare to play former champions Iraq in China on Wednesday.

Malaysia face a potentially daunting task having been drawn to take on Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as the Iraqis, and the step up in class is not lost on coach Ong as he readies his team to face the 2013 winners.

"We can't deny that Iraq is a very good team, based on their record in youth...