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Justin Meram turns down Iraq call-up due to travel ban fears

Goal.com logo Goal.com 11-03-2017
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Columbus Crew midfielder Justin Meram has turned down an international call-up to Iraq due to fears of complications from the United States' new travel ban.

Meram was born in the U.S. but has represented Iraq internationally since 2014. He has dual citizenship through his parents, who were both born in Iraq.

After Iraq was one of seven countries on the Trump administration's original travel ban which was struck down by the courts, the nation was left off a revised travel ban that was introduced earlier this week.

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But despite that exclusion, Meram has still opted against representing Iraq in important World Cup qualifiers against Australia and Saudi Arabia later this month.

Iraq's match against Australia will take place in Iran, which is on the list of countries in the revised travel ban.

The Iraqi Football Association confirmed Meram's absence in a statement on Facebook, in which it said the 28-year-old turned down the call despite a "considerable effort" on the part of the federation.

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