Franso Hariri Stadium
|Other names||Erbil Stadium (1956-2001)|
Description: Franso Hariri Stadium
It dates back to 1956 when it was built south of Erbil in northern Iraq. Initially planned for 40,000 people it remained Iraq's second largest venue even after the 1992 renovations after which it could only hold 28,000 people.
As military conflict in Iraq brought chaos, the national team moved here in 2009 temporarily and ironically as this is the Kurdish part of the country, with limited autonomy.
Until 2001 it was called simply Erbil Stadium, but after assassination of governor Hariri who contributed to the venues renovations, name was changed to honour him. Along with name a figure of Hariri was set opposite the main stand of the stadium.
Iraq: International football returns after four years
They haven't had a mega event like this for years. Stadium sold out, extatic crowds. Who would have thought it was only a friendly game against Jordan?