FIFA's Iraq ban has no impact
16.12.2009By Steve Menary
"Sadly there has been no progress within Iraq since the suspension. FIFA do not seem to understand that what Iraq needs more than anything is reconciliation and unity amongst the various religious faiths,” an Ahrar spokesman told Play the Game.
“Football is the only thing within the country that encourages that and brings the people together. The suspension of Iraq by FIFA is a tragedy and an extermination of one of the few remaining chances of hope within the country. We understand that FIFA did not necessarily intend this but the people responsible for the problems within Iraq are the Iranian controlled corrupt politicians, not the people of Iraq. Punish them, not the football team.”
The Iraq Olympic Committee dissolved the country’s football association in late November and stormed its headquarters using armed personnel.
FIFA gave the IOC 72 hours to re-instate the Iraq Football Association and when this deadline was ignored, Iraq – the reigning Asian champions - were sent into international exile – a decision ratified by FIFA at its Cape Town congress on December 3-4.