Italy’s government and energy company ENI said on Friday they are setting aside a total of one million Euros (1.2 million dollars) to finance sports development projects in Iraq.
Italy and ENIENI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iraqi government pledging 500,000 Euros each.
The money will finance the construction of sports facilities in the main cities of Iraq and the training of Iraqi sports professionals such as coaches, sports physicians and physical therapists, ENIENI said in a statement.
Iraqi athletes will also be hosted by Italian federations to train and prepare for competitions, “to contribute to the improvement of the level of professional sport throughout Iraq.”
ENI, which is controlled by the Italian government, is the leader of a consortium developing the massive Zubair oilfield in southern Iraq.
The accord was signed in the presence of the presidents of two Iraqi football teams: Al Zaware and Al Khark.
Iraq’s football team, which did not qualify for the World Cup that began on Friday in South Africa, won the Asian Cup football tournament in 2007.