Costa Rica’s refusal to play friendly led to cancellation, says Iraq FA

Costa Rica’s delegation, which was travelling to Iraq from Kuwait by bus, was not allowed to enter the country without their passports being stamped, despite reportedly having an agreement with the Iraqi government.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Costa Rica’s last World Cup warm-up friendly against Iraq in Basra was called off after the Central American side refused to play the match following a logistics dispute, the Iraqi FA said.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Costa Rica’s last World Cup warm-up friendly against Iraq in Basra was called off after the Central American side refused to play the match following a logistics dispute, the Iraqi FA said. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Costa Rica’s delegation, which was travelling to Iraq from Kuwait by bus, was not allowed to enter the country without their passports being stamped, despite reportedly having an agreement with the Iraqi government.

Costa Rica’s last World Cup warm-up friendly against Iraq in Basra was called off after the Central American side refused to play the match following a logistics dispute, the Iraqi FA (IFA) said.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Costa Rica’s delegation, which was travelling to Iraq from Kuwait by bus, was not allowed to enter the country without their passports being stamped, despite reportedly having an agreement with the Iraqi government.

“The Federation wishes to make clear that it has abided by all the terms of the contract with the Costa Rican side, including the provision of facilities necessary to secure the match and the provision of all the requirements thereof,” the IFA said in a statement.

Costa Rica’s football federation (FCRF) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The IFA added that it had also offered to fly the Costa Rica team to Basra from Kuwait.

“Based on the foregoing, the match was cancelled as a result of the Costa Rican team’s insistence on not playing,” the IFA said, adding that it would explore legal measures over the cancellation.

Iraq’s team split up into two sides and played a match among themselves at the Basra International Stadium. The IFA said it would reimburse fans for their tickets.

Costa Rica is in Group E with Spain, Germany and Japan. It opens its group campaign against Spain on Wednesday.

Iraq did not qualify for this year’s World Cup, which starts on Sunday.

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