Football in Iraq
Governing bodyIraq Football Association
National team(s)men's national team
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

The sport of football in the country of Iraq is run by the Iraq Football Association.[1][2] The association administers the national football team as well as the Iraq Stars League.[3][4][5][6][7] Football is the most popular sport in Iraq.[8]

National teams

Bashar Resan with Iraq

The national team have qualified for the final tournament of the World Cup once in 1986 which was held in Mexico. Success in the Asian Cup has been more widespread, winning the tournament in 2007 and finishing fourth in 1976 and 2015. As of 2015 the women's national team have not entered either of these competitions.[citation needed]

The under-23 side has had success at the Asian Games winning silver at the 2006 edition in Qatar and bronze in the 2014 tournament, held in South Korea. Their best placing in Olympic football has been fourth at Athens in 2004.[citation needed]

As of 11 June 2020 the men's team were ranked 70th in the world[9] while the women's team were not ranked due to being inactive.[10]

Football Stadiums in Iraq

The Ministry of Youth and Sports developed plans to drastically improve sports infrastructure and have decided to build big stadiums in every governorate of Iraq. The government gave them a $2.5bn package for this cause, and plans have been drawn up to build most of the stadiums below. They have also used some of this budget to improve football on a local level in areas of the country. Most stadiums listed below have been funded by this package, unless they are one of the older stadiums, or the proposed Baghdad Sports City, which will be funded by the Saudi king, King Salman.[citation needed]

Major football stadiums in Iraq
Image Stadium Capacity Location
Basra International Stadium 65,000 Basra
Al-Shaab Stadium 35,700 Baghdad
Al-Madina Stadium 32,000 Baghdad
Karbala International Stadium 30,000 Karbala
Al-Najaf International Stadium 30,000 Najaf
Franso Hariri Stadium 25,000 Erbil
Duhok Stadium 20,000 Duhok
Zakho International Stadium 20,000 Zakho, Duhok
Al-Kut Olympic Stadium 20,000 Kut, Wasit
Maysan Olympic Stadium 20,000 Amarah, Maysan
Kirkuk Olympic Stadium 20,000 Kirkuk
Major future stadiums in Iraq
Image Stadium Capacity Location Stage
Baghdad Sports City 85,000 Baghdad Proposed
Tajiat Olympic Stadium 60,000 Baghdad On hold
Ammo Baba International Stadium 31,200 Baghdad Under Construction
Minaa Stadium 30,000 Basra Under Construction
Al Sunbula Stadium 30,000 Al Diwaniyah, Al-Qadisiyyah On hold
Salah Al Din Stadium 30,000 Tikrit, Saladin Under Construction
Babil Stadium 30,000 Hillah, Babil On hold
Al-Anbar Stadium 30,000 Ramadi, Al Anbar Under Construction
Mosul International Stadium 30,000 Mosul, Nineveh Under Construction
Diyala Stadium 30,000 Baqubah, Diyala Under Construction
Nasiriyah Stadium 30,000 Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar On hold
New Samawah Stadium 25,000 Samawah, Muthanna Under Construction
Newroz International Stadium 20,000 Sulaymaniyah Under Construction

Club tournaments

Aliyat Al-Shorta reached the final of the AFC Champions League, the biggest tournament in Asian football, in 1971 but withdrew from the final due to it being against an Israeli team. Al-Rasheed also reached the final in 1989 but lost on away goals. Al-Shorta won the first ever edition of the Arab Club Champions Cup in 1982 with Al-Rasheed winning that competition three times in a row (1985, 1986, 1987). Al-Talaba and Al-Zawraa both lost the final of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup in 1995 and 2000 respectively, before Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya won Asia's second-tier tournament, the AFC Cup, three consecutive times in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Domestic league titles won by club

Main article: List of Iraqi football champions § Total titles won

See also


  1. ^ "When Saturday Comes - War games". 2012-07-09. Archived from the original on 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  2. ^ "State Of Football In Iraq | Football & Sport". Sabotage Times. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  3. ^ "Nation & World | Soccer title brings rare gift: Iraq unity | Seattle Times Newspaper". 2007-07-30. Archived from the original on 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  4. ^ BBC's Sally Nugent (2010-09-17). "BBC Sport - Football - Iraqi team helping people unite". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  5. ^ Arun, Neil (2009-07-11). "Middle East | When football came home to Iraq". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2020-10-22. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  6. ^ Nordland, Rod; Al-Izzi, Sa'ad (2009-11-24). "Soccer in Iraq: Another Field for Argument". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-06-17. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  7. ^ Lucinda, Hannah. "Should Iraq's leaders be more like their football players? - BBC News". Archived from the original on 2015-11-23. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  8. ^ "Most popular sport in each country". Imgur. 26 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 November 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  9. ^ "FIFA rankings". 2020-06-11. Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  10. ^ "FIFA rankings". 2020-06-11. Archived from the original on 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2020-06-27.