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Saudi officials discuss construction of largest football stadium in Iraq

King Salman had reportedly pledged to support the stadium's development after a Saudi-Iraq friendly in 2018

Saudi Arabia is backing the construction of a football stadium in Iraq [representational image].
© ITP Media Group / Mosh Lafuente
Saudi Arabia is backing the construction of a football stadium in Iraq [representational image].

A delegation of Saudi Arabian officials reportedly visited the capital of Iraq, Baghdad, to push forward talks on the construction of a new football stadium.

The delegation arrived in Iraq on 9 February, 2019, to discuss plans to build a sports arena with space for 100,000 spectators, according to China’s state-run press agency, Xinhua.

According to the report, the new arena, to be developed as an integrated sports city, will become the biggest stadium in Iraq, eclipsing Basra Sports City, which has a capacity of more than 65,000 people.

Xinhua said the new football stadium was being supported by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The pledge by King Salman came after a friendly football match between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the report added, citing a March 2018 announcement by former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

The football stadium will become an integrated sports city upon completion, although a date for this was not mentioned in Xinhua's report.

The Chinese news agency said Iraq’s government has created a committee of ministries to monitor progress on the construction project, which will be established under the umbrella of the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council.

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Nov 23, 2019