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Baghdad Derby: Younis Mahmoud Calls for FIFA to Drop Ban

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Hussein Ammar – Yalla – Baghdad

Derby Baghdad between Al-Zawra’a and Al-Talaba ended goalless in a difficult match for both teams. The match was held at the home of Al-Sinaa SC at 14:00 pm on Tuesday 2nd of February 2016.

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This was an Iraqi Premier League game and it was officiated by referee Mohammed Tariq and his assistants Ahmed Sabah, Rwad Yaseen and Sadiq Abdul-Hussein.

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There were many goal scoring opportunities in the game especially for Al-Zawra’a who failed to repeat the win they achieved through a goal scored by Mohannad Abdul-Raheem in the first fixture between the sides. Striker Abdul-Raheem sustained an injury on the 26th minute of the match and this made it harder for Al-Zawra’a to win the game. Al-Zawra’a coach Basim Qasim stated for Yalla “We had to win the game in the first third of the game but we panicked. There were positives in the match, but the difficulty was the injuries to Mohannad and Luay. The injury to Mohannad had a negative impact on the team because he has an important role in the team.” He also commented on the performance of the referee in the match, “I am very happy with the officiating performance and I encourage the competition committee to give a chance to young match officials and I congratulate Mohammed Tariq on the excellent way he officiated the match.”

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Al-Zawra’a SC captain Haidar Abdul-Amir added to what was said by Qasim, “The best thing about the game was the attendance of the fans, in terms of the match the goalless draw was a fair result because of the lack of clear cut chances for both teams.”

Abdul-Amir also hoped the ban on the Iraqi stadiums would be lifted as soon as possible.

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Al-Talaba coach had a different opinion, “We need experienced officials and I am not happy with the match result, but this is the reality of the situation now.” Said the Al-Talaba coach Ayoub Odisho to Yalla.

The captain of the team Younis Mahmoud (Al-Safah) agreed with him, he expressed disappointment at the match officiating by pointing out the two strong penalty appeals that were not given. He praised the young Al-Talaba team “The team played an important game but luck didn’t come our way.”

Al-Safah took this opportunity to congratulate the Iraqi Olympics team on qualifying for the summer Olympic finals in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He also added his voice to Abdul-Amir’s call, hoping for the ban to be lifted on the Iraqi stadiums by FIFA.

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