A unanimous decision to change venue was made by the presidents of the GCC football associations during a meeting held on Tuesday. The question of Iraq’s Basra hosting the championship became an issue after International Football Association (FIFA), the governing body for world football banned Iraq from hosting international football matches. The championship that was to be held in December has been pushed to 2014 due to change of venue.
Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, the president of the Bahraini Football Association informed that the heads of the GCC football associations decided that Basra can host the next Gulf Cup if the ban on Iraq is lifted by then.
Iraq was supposed to have hosted the previous championship, but the sporting event was eventually held in Bahrain after security concerns and infrastructure construction delays plagued the country’s hosting plans. Last month, a team had visited Basra to assess the city’s preparations for the tournament.
It is not sure whether Iraq will take part in the event as it had earlier warned of withdrawing from the tournament if the venue was moved from Basra. Football teams from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, and Yemen will participate in the Gulf Cup.