Baghdad: Iraq has asked world football`s governing body FIFA to approve its request for playing its qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics in Qatar.
"We have sent a letter to the FIFA saying that we have selected Qatar as a neutral venue after we had gratefully received Qatar`s acceptance to host our national and Olympic teams," Iraq Football Association Secretary Tariq Ahmed told a news agency.
Iraq had previously played its games at the Francois Hariri Stadium in Erbil, the capital city of Iraq`s north autonomous region of Kurdistan, which is considered far safer than Baghdad and other parts of the country.
However, Sep 23, the FIFA banned Iraq from playing all its home qualifiers for the national and Olympic teams due to security concerns as well as Iraq`s incapacity to accommodate football delegations in the country.
FIFA then asked Iraq to nominate a neutral venue.
"I think FIFA will accept our request to play in Qatar, but officially we are waiting for their approval on our request," Ahmed said.