Stadium architect Populous is attempting to move into Iraq with a bid for a 100,000-seat stadium and sports complex outside Baghdad

The practice, which is already working on stadiums for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively, is planning to bid for the government project with Iraqi contractor Jiburi.

John Barrow, senior principal at Populous, said although the bid was in its early stages, it could spell a broader move into the country for the practice.

“We are in collaboration with Jiburi,” he said. “The government has planned at least six new stadiums and we think we are well positioned.”

“If we were involved in a programme of significance … then we would consider a local presence.”

It is understood the stadium will include other sporting facilities similar to the $500m Basra Sports City project that began in July 2009, where Jiburi is also the main contractor.

British companies including Cyril Sweett and Mott MacDonald already work in Iraq, where security has improved since the height of the insurgency in 2006. However, on Sunday a car bomb exploded in Ramadi, western Iraq, killing at least 11 people and injuring 40 more, while in Baquba in central Iraq a bomber killed two people.