Iran threatens legal action to lift FIFA suspension

Iran may challenge in court its suspension from FIFA due to state interference, the football federation of Iran (IRIFF) said in a statement Friday quoted by DPA. "The IRIFF will reserve the right to refer the case to a FIFA approved sports court," said the statement, which was carried by the news agency ISNA. "The IRIFF considers it as its duty to reiterate gratitude and appreciation to the president, government and parliament for their support. Iran's football would have neither survived nor reached its current ranking without state assistance," the statement said. "The IRIFF however also believes that the problem could be settled through negotiations and will therefore use all its potentials to remove the ambiguities," it added. The IRIFF statement also blamed previous federation officials for feeding FIFA wrong information that may have led to Thursday's suspension, "without considering the future of Iran's football."

Former IRIFF president Mohsen Safaei-Farahani told ISNA that Iran should have a logical approach and seriously follow the FIFA demands for avoiding a turmoil. Safaei-Farahani said that the issue was raised more than four years ago but not taken seriously by the IRIFF. "We should avoid challenging FIFA and take a wise decision," he said.