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Iraq footballers in probe over night out during Asia Cup

Media reports have alleged that after their draw last week against Iran in the final group-stage match, some Iraqi players travelled to nearby Dubai for a night out.

football Updated: Jan 28, 2019 23:53 IST
AFP
AFP
Iraq,Asia Cup,Iraq footballers
File image of Iraq's forward Mohanad Ali Kadhim Alshammari (L), Iraq's defender Ali Adnan and Iraq's defender Ali Faez (R) speaking before taking a free-kick.(AFP)

Iraq’s football federation said on Monday it was investigating whether national team players in Abu Dhabi for the Asian Cup this month snuck out of their hotel to party at a nightclub.

Media reports have alleged that after their draw last week against Iran in the final group-stage match, some Iraqi players travelled to nearby Dubai for a night out.

“We have decided to form a fact-finding committee over what was reported by different media and have invited all relevant parties to take part,” the federation said in a statement.

If the allegations prove to be correct, the federation would consider legal action for “defamation” and harming Iraq’s reputation, its media head Mohammad Khalaf told AFP.

Iraq were knocked out of the tournament with a 1-0 defeat to Qatar in the last 16.

Last year, Iraqi national teams were embroiled in a string of age-fraud scandals.

Adult players were found to have falsified ages on their passports to play on the under-16 squad, and the under-23 team also dropped out of the Asian Games tournament amid similar allegations of lying.

It came as FIFA allowed Iraq to host international matches for the first time in three decades.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 17:07 IST