Costa Rica squad being flown to Iraq after immigration issues - INA

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Costa Rica's squad will be flown to Iraq ahead of a warm-up friendly between the two countries ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, Iraq's state news agency INA said on Thursday.

ESPN reported that Costa Rica had called off Thursday's friendly against Iraq after its delegation, which was travelling to Iraq by bus on Wednesday night, was not allowed to enter the country without their passports being stamped.

Costa Rica's squad, who had reportedly requested that the Iraqi government allow them to enter the country without stamping their passports, then returned to their base in Kuwait.

However, INA on Thursday cited their correspondent saying a private jet would take the Costa Rica squad from Kuwait to Basra, "to hold the friendly match agreed to be held today".

The football federations of Costa Rica and Iraq did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Costa Rica are in Group E with European heavyweights Spain and Germany -- who won the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 respectively -- as well as Asian powerhouse Japan. They open their group campaign against Spain on Wednesday.

Iraq did not qualify for this year's World Cup, which starts on Sunday.

Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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