The Baghdad Post

Iran risks FIFA ban over law infringement

Iran is currently risking a ban from the international football ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup over a law infringement by Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) president Mehdi Taj.

Reports have suggested that Taj must leave his post due to the law barring the employment of retirees in government, state or public institutions which use state funds or facilities.

However, Taj has announced he is not going to withdraw from the Iranian federation’s headquarters in Tehran and the AFC and FIFA will back him because they have a zero tolerance policy towards any third partyinterference in their Member Associations, according to reports.

The FFIRI must maintain its independence to avoid any sanctions, both AFC and FIFA stressed.

Furthermore, Iranian football clubs Persepolis, Esteghlal, Zoba Ahan andSaipa are in danger of knocking out of the AFC Champions League.

The AFC has already said that they were “closely monitoring the current issues” and that the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) stressed that it was a non-governmental organization.

“All Member Associations must fulfil their duties without any third party interference either from the Government or the Parliament,” said the statement.

Football world governing body FIFA has previously suspended Iran in November 2006 from participation in international football on the grounds of governmental interference in the national football association. The ban was lifted after less than a month.

In 2014, FIFA confirmed the extension of sanctions imposed by the Austrian Football Association (OFB) and the IR Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) in relation to match manipulation; The Disciplinary Committee of the IRIFF has sanctioned inter alia an Iranian official, coach Mohammad Reza Molaei, and an Iranian match official, referee Mohsen Ghahremani, with bans of six and eight months respectively after being charged with “interference in the corruption” and “unsporting behavior and illegal relations” respectively. The two cases were related to a match of the Iran Pro League. Source