Abbas wins Iraqi recall

After more than seven years, Sydney FC midfielder Ali Abbas has been recalled to the Iraqi national team following an impressive last 12 months wearing the Sky Blues jersey.

The Sydney FC Players’ Player and Members’ Player of the Year for last season has been called up for two friendly games against Yemen (October 10) and Bahrain (October 14), as they prepare for the upcoming Gulf Cup (13-26 November) and the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia in January.

Abbas last played for his country of birth in the 2007 Asian Cup Final win over Saudi Arabia.

“It’s been a long time that I’ve been waiting to play international football for Iraq again,” he said today.

“Now the time has come, I’m proud to representing my country of birth and can’t wait to play in the friendly games against Yemen and Bahrain, although I will be disappointed to miss the start of the A-League season.”

The recall is perfect timing for Abbas with a selection to play in Australia for the Iraqi 2015 Asian Cup squad now a distinct possibility.

“It would be great to play in Australia for Iraq and great to play in front of the Sydney FC fans in the Asian Cup, if I’m selected,” he said.  “We won it in 2007 and it would be fantastic to win it again.”

Abbas’ form over the last 12 months has been noted by Head Coach Hakeem Shaker and he will link up with the squad for both games to be held in the Bahraini capital, Manama.

His call up follows fellow Sky Blue Bernie Ibini’s first call up to the Socceroos squad for their upcoming October friendlies.

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