Al-Shaab Stadium

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Al-Shaab Stadium
ملعب الشعب
Al-Shaab Stadium3 (3).JPG
Full name Al-Shaab Stadium
Location Baghdad, Iraq
Coordinates 33°19′29.53″N 44°26′7.09″E / 33.3248694°N 44.4353028°E / 33.3248694; 44.4353028Coordinates: 33°19′29.53″N 44°26′7.09″E / 33.3248694°N 44.4353028°E / 33.3248694; 44.4353028
Owner Government of Iraq
Capacity 35,000
Scoreboard Yes
Construction
Built 1966
Renovated 2005, 2010
Closed 2009-2010
Tenants
Iraq national football team

Al-Shaab Stadium (Arabic: ملعب الشعب‎) also known as The People's Stadium,[1] is a multi-purpose stadium in Baghdad, Iraq. The stadium was a gift to the Iraqi government from the Gulbenkian Foundation, is used mostly for football (soccer) matches, is the home of the Iraq national football team and has seating for 40,000 people.[2] It was built in 1966.

The opening match featured Iraq and Benfica, for whom Eusébio was playing.

The Iraqi national team did not play any international fixtures in the stadium for more than two decades due to security reasons (1980s Iraq- Iran war, 1990 till mid-1990’s embargo and other sanctions on Iraq, 2003 till date etc. 2008 USA invasion); During the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq the stadium was turned into an army base for the United States Army. The stadium was re-qualified in 2007 and national football fixtures resumed.

For the 2007 – 2008 season the League final was between Zawra’a and Arbeel, the match had a capacity crowd and ended up with Arbeel winning the title. It hosts the big Baghdad derbies involving Al Shorta, Al Talaba, Al Zawraa, Al Naft and Al Quwa Al Jawiya and it was home to the final of the 2013 Brotherhood, Love and Peace Cup in which Al Shorta defeated Al Zawraa 1-0.

Inside the Al-Shaab Stadium

The Iraqi national team returned to the stadium and played its first international match since 2002 on July 13, 2009, when it defeated the Palestine national football team, 4-0, in an international friendly.[3]

The Stadium has experienced multiple accidents one of which was the collapse of an exterior wall while fans were trying to climb it to enter a game between two local teams (one of them was Al Zawra’a). Some of the fans died in that incident.

Al-Zawraa, one of the most successful football clubs in Iraq, use the stadium for some of their home matches. The stadium is also the final resting place of Ammo Baba, who requested that he be buried there.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC), the Iraq national football team played its home games at Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ملعب الشعب (The People's Stadium) from the Arabic-language Wikipedia. Retrieved on January 18, 2009
  2. ^ WorldStadiums.com - Stadiums in Iraq
  3. ^ Myers, Steven Lee (2009-07-13). "Iraqis Cheer for a Team That Again Is at Home". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-14.