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Kasim’s Iraq call decision
YASER Kasim has yet to decide whether or not to accept his most recent call-up to the Iraqi national squad, according to Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper.
Kasim has been selected by his country for their upcoming Asian Cup qualifier against China on March 5 but is seeking various assurances before choosing either to fly out to Dubai for the game or remain with Town.
The former Tottenham apprentice opted against joining up with Iraq earlier this term as he did not want to risk his future at the County Ground but, having since signed an extended deal in Wiltshire, it remains to be seen whether Kasim answers his latest call.
Cooper said: “We’ve had some interest from Iraq asking about Yaser’s availability. Yaser has got to decide whether he’s going to go or not. If it’s a qualifying game or a tournament you want to let them go because it’s furthering their career.
“I think he’s still in talks with the Iraqi FA about the best way forward. I think the qualms Yaser’s got about it are if he’s going to go, is he going to play and if he is going to play he misses our games and he doesn’t want to put his career here in jeopardy.”
Meanwhile, Cooper was delighted for Massimo Luongo after the Australian was called up to the Socceroos’ squad for their friendly against Ecuador at The New Den in London next Wednesday.
“It’s brilliant for him to know he’s within touching distance of going to a World Cup,” he said. “He deserves it, he’s been fantastic this year, he’s got a brilliant attitude, he plays on the front foot, he can turn defence into attack in a heartbeat and he deserves it.
“I hope he gets a chance to play against Ecuador and stakes his claim. It’s all about Mass. We’ve tried to give him the platform to play and he’s done it all himself and he deserves every bit of success he gets.”
With the game taking place in England, Cooper confirmed to the Advertiser that Luongo would not miss any Swindon match due to his involvement with his country.
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