Iraqis to clash against the Olyroos

PERTH: Iraq's national football side, attempting to rebuild after the disruptions of war, will play two games in Australia in November, officials confirmed here yesterday. 

The matches will come only a few months after the United States-led invasion of Iraq in which Australia played a role. 

Sporting promoter Tom Hoad said one match would be against the Australian Under-23 team, known as the Olyroos, and the other with a Western Australian State League side or a composite National Soccer League team. 

Both games had been approved by Soccer Australia and would be played in Perth, the Western Australian capital, Hoad said. 

They would be at Perth's Subiaco Oval, a 42,000-capacity venue, or the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground – known as the WACA – which accommodates about 28,000, on dates in late November yet to be determined. 

Hoad said the two-match package had been put together by Sport International Western Australia, with which he is senior project officer. 

Sport International is an arm of the State Government's Department of Sport and Recreation. 

Hoad said he expected soon to sign a major sponsorship which would pay for the cash-starved Iraqis to make the trip. 

“We have two interested parties vying for the sponsorship,” he said. 

Western Australia-based Soccer Australia board member Paul Afkos said the Iraq players were expected to have a two-week camp in Perth to prepare for the games. – AFP 

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