Following an eight month layoff, the national team will return to action against Iraq in September. Various sources in Iraqi media and the Iraq FA have confirmed that Palestine will play the Lions of Mesopotamia in Erbil on September 14th.
Iraq had originally extended the invitation to Jordan who turned it down which led to the Iraqi FA to seek Palestine as a replacement. The Iraqis will also face Oman in Muscat on September 3rd before returning to Iraq to play Syria on September 8th and Palestine six days later.
Due to travel restrictions in place it is unclear how many foreign based players will be available to both sides. As FIFA’s friendly dates only extend from September 2nd to September 10th Palestine’s squad will most likely be mostly composed of locally based players.
Previous Friendly encounters
Iraq has been Palestine most frequent opponents since reentering FIFA in 1998. The teams have met 16 times previously with Iraq emerging triumphant on 13 occasions. Al-Fida’i is still searching for its first win against the Iraqis but there are signs that the gap is closing. The two sides battled to a 0-0 draw in Noureddine Ould Ali’s first game at the helm back in May 2018. Iraq needed a late penalty to win 2-1 when the two teams met last year during the 2019 WAFF Championship.