Al Shaab Stadium

Al Shaab Stadium

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Al Shaab Stadium also known as The People's Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium
Multi-purpose stadium
Multi-purpose stadiums are a type of stadium designed in such a way as to be easily used by multiple sports. While any stadium could potentially host more than one sport, this concept usually refers to a specific design philosophy that stresses multi-functionality over specificity...

 in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. It is used mostly for football (soccer) matches and is the home of the Iraq national football team
Iraq national football team
The Iraqi national football team represents Iraq in international football and is controlled by the Iraq Football Association. They won the 2007 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup tournament.-The Golden Generation:...

. The stadium has seating for 40,000 fans. It was built in 1966.
The opening match featured Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Benfica, for whom Eusébio
Eusébio
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, GCIH, GCM , commonly known simply as Eusébio, is a retired Mozambican-born Portuguese football forward. He is considered one of the best footballers of all-time by the IFFHS, experts and fans...

 was playing.

The stadium was a gift to the Iraqi government from the Gulbenkian Foundation. Al Shaab Stadium was opened in 1966, the opening game was between Iraq national team and Benfica Football Club from Portugal for whom the legendary Eusébio was playing at those days and he was part of the team during the match.

The Iraqi National team did not play any international fixtures in the stadium for more than two decades due to security reasons (80’s Iraq- Iran war, 1990 till mid 1990’s embargo and other sanctions on Iraq, 2003 till date Otc. 2008 USA invasion); During the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq the stadium was turned into an army base by the United States Army. The stadium was re-qualified in 2007 and national football fixtures resumed at that time. However, due to security reasons, neither FIFA nor any other international organization have inspected the stadium to approve it yet.
In 2007 – 2008 Season the League final was between Zawra’a and Arbeel, the match had a record attendance for the new century of 80,000 and ended up with Arbeel winning the title.
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
Palestine national football team
The Palestine national football team is the national team of the Palestinian Football Association, representing the Palestinian National Authority.The Palestine Football Federation was founded in 1952...

, 4-0, in an international friendly.

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 famous local teams (one of them was Al Zawra’a). Some of the fans died in that incident.

Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawra'a Sport Club is an Iraqi football club based in Karkh, Baghdad. Al-Zawraa is considered to be one of the best Iraqi football clubs in history, as it has won 12 national titles...

, one of the most successful football clubs in Iraq, also 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 before his death

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