World Cup Woes: Columbus Crew Player Won’t Play for Iraq National Team

Justin Meram,the midfielder for the Columbus Crew, has announced he will not be joining the Iraq National Team  for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers due to recent travel concerns.

In a letter posted on Facebook Meram wrote, “I wish I wasn’t in this situation. I’d love nothing more than to be there alongside my teammates in the upcoming games, but for reasons outside of my control, I will not be participating in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.”

Meram was born in the United States, but his parents were born in Iraq. Despite Iraq being off the travel ban list — FIFA sanctions do not allow the Iraqi team to play in Iraq but instead must play their matches in Iran which is still banned under Trump’s new revised travel ban, going into effect Thursday.

It would bar new visas for people from now six predominantly Muslim countries.

Image by Patrick-Leigh


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