Saturday, August 04, 2007

Iran pulls out of India's Nehru Cup at last minute

Iran has backed out of India's revived ONGC Nehru Cup after having shown interest initially in the US$ 100,000 prize money, a late move which may force the All India Football Federation to go ahead with a five-team tournament. “We are still exploring the possibility of having the sixth team for the Nehru Cup though we have rejected Iran’s proposal of sending a club team instead,” AIFF General Secretary, Alberto Colaco told The Hindu. The AIFF rejected the idea as the tournament has been recognised by the world body, FIFA, and ranking points will be earned for every win.

The event will be held at the newly-floodlit Ambedkar Stadium in New Dehli from 17-29 August with the confirmed participation of Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Cambodia. Colaco said the AIFF considered inviting Asian Cup champion Iraq, which won the last editionof the Nehru Cup 10 years ago, but getting that team together was "too difficult".

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