Thursday, November 23, 2006

Political interference causes FIFA to suspend Iran

The FIFA Emergency Committee, composed of the FIFA President and one representative of each of the six confederations, has suspended the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) from all international activities due to governmental interference in football matters and violation of Article 17 of the FIFA Statutes, AFCMedia reported. FIFA determined the IRIFF was not in line with the principles of the FIFA Statutes regarding the independence of member associations, the independence of the decision-making process of the football-governing body in each country and the way in which changes were to be brought about in the leadership of the federation.

FIFA approved the following road map: (1) installation of a IRIFF Normalisation Committee appointed by FIFA and the AFC, with the composition reflecting the role of football’s stakeholders; (2) Drafting of new statutes on the basis of the FIFA Standard Statutes; and (3) Organisation of new elections under the supervision of FIFA and the AFC after the approval of the above-mentioned new IRIFF statutes.

In August 2006, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation gave the IRIFF a deadline of 15 November 2006 to re-instate its elected president, Dr Mohammed Dadgan and to comply with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes. In this respect, FIFA and AFC adopted the clear position that Dr Dadgan and the members of his board remained the recognized and legitimate president and leadership of the IRIFF. This deadline was not met by the IRIFF.

The lifting of this suspension will depend on the above road map being accepted by the relevant authorities in Tehran and fully implemented. "We hope that they (IRIFF) accept the terms for the betterment of football so that the relevant teams can participate in the top competitions in Asia," AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam commented.

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