Just days after signing a multi-year extension contract with Columbus Crew SC, midfielder Justin Meram earned a call-up with the Iraq National Team. Meram got the call just a few days ago. On Saturday, Soccer Iraq reported on Twitter that the Crew SC reigning MVP has pulled out due to the recent travel ban. Crew SC released the following statement Saturday evening.
Justin Meram To Miss World Cup Qualifiers
“We are aware of the reports on Justin Meram’s status with the Iraq National Team. Justin will not be available for comment ahead of tonight’s match.”
The Iraq National Team director, Basil Gorgis, did confirm that Meram will be left off the roster, which is due tomorrow.
The Iraqi Football Association released the following statement on their Facebook page.
Justin Meram Statement
This morning, Meram released his statement, via his official Twitter page.
— Justin Meram (@JustinMeram) March 12, 2017
In his statement, Meram does quote FIFA’s sanction about games not being played in Iraq, although Meram has played games in Iran during the previous Iraq games. Meram also states that he wishes to return to the national team in the future.
What Does This Mean For Crew SC?
Had Meram confirmed his position with the Iraqi National team, he would have missed his league game on March 25 against 2015 MLS Cup Champions, the Portland Timbers. Meram has become a leader on the pitch and is able to use his skill and ability to make great plays. Missing that would hurt Crew SC on the left.
In the 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire to start the season off at home, he provided the lone assist to Ethan Finlay who headed home the cross past Fire keeper Jorge Bava.
Meram and Crew SC are back in action March 18 as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on DC United.