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Zayed turns down Iraqi offer for American dream


Eamon Zayed Photo: SPORTSFILE

Eamon Zayed Photo: SPORTSFILE

Eamon Zayed Photo: SPORTSFILE

Eamon Zayed, the globe-trotting Irish-born striker, has turned down a move to Iraq and will instead head to the USA next month for the next chapter in his career.

And the former Ireland U21 international, who declared for Libya through the parentage rule and has been capped at senior level, has not given up hope of playing for Libya in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Dubliner Zayed spent a large chunk of his career in the League of Ireland but he's also been willing to pack a bag and head off as he had spells early in his career in England and Norway and in the last four years has played for clubs in Iran and, most recently, Malaysia, though he's now out of contract.

There was an offer from a club in Iran, where he previously played, while an agent representing a club in Iraq was also keen on the striker - though Zayed was not so eager to move to Iraq. "There was a genuine offer there from an Iraqi club, Zokho," says Zayed. "I don't know too much about them but they do have a foreign coach and a few foreign players already and they had heard about me.

"I've been willing to travel the world and try different things but even for me, Iraq was a step too far.

"It was flattering to get the offers as there has been interest from different parts of the world, I could go back to Iran if I wanted to and I really liked it out there in my spells with two clubs in Iranian football. But, all going well, I will be off to the US in the new year, a deal is all but agreed with a club over there."

Zayed hasn't played for Libya for some time as football there has been disrupted due to the civil war. "I hope it could happen again with Libya," he says. "They can't play matches at home for obvious reasons but I'd be keen to get back in the squad for the World Cup if I can."