Iraq squad announced to face Russia in friendly

The coach of the Iraqi national football team, Jesus Casas, chose a list of 25 players, including nine who play in Europe, for a friendly against his internationally isolated Russian counterpart later this month in St. Petersburg. The match will be played on January 26 at the Zenit Arena, one of the stadiums that hosted the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which has a capacity of more than 68,27 spectators. The match was scheduled to be held on the <>th of this month in the city of Sochi before the Russian side moved it to its new location to secure a large crowd to attend.

This friendly match comes on the sidelines of a training camp for the Iraqi national team, which begins in Sochi on January 21st in preparation for its upcoming events and falls within the invitation of the Russian Federation. The head of the Iraqi Football Association, Adnan Derjal, announced earlier that contacts are continuing with the Iranian Federation to play a friendly match as well, but the Iranian side refused to play it in the capital Baghdad and insisted on holding it in Tehran. The Russian national team and clubs face sanctions imposed by UEFA and excluded from competitions because of Russia's year-long war against Ukraine.

Regarding Russia's friendliness, which comes under these sanctions, Derjal told the media: "We cannot play the match without proper approvals, we sent a letter to the AFC and the Russian Federation is bound by the approval of UEFA." "The match should be approved by the Asian and European Confederations."

List of Iraq: Guards:
Jalal Hassan, Ahmed Bassel and Fahd Talib.
Defenders: Ali Adnan (Rubin Kazan of Russia), Mustafa Nazim, Ali Fayez, Manaf Younis, Ahmed Yahya, Merjas Dosky (Slovak, Czech Republic), Frans Zia (Thai Port Denmark) and Alai Fadel (Gothenburg of Sweden).
Midfielders: Amjad Atwan, Mohamed Ali Abboud, Amir Al-Ammari (Halmstad), Zidane Iqbal (Manchester United), Alexander Oraha (Queens Park Rangers), Osama Rashid (Viesella), Kevin Yacoub (Urus of Denmark), Ibrahim Bayish, Ahmed Farhan, Louay Al-Ani and Hussein Ali.
Forwards: Ayman Hussein, Wasso Karim and Ali Al Hammadi (Swansea City).