PtG Article 03.08.2010

FIFA lifts threat of suspension of Iraq

FIFA lifts threats of sanctions on Iraq’s national team extending the mandate for the country’s football authorities for one year, leaving the team free to compete at the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.

FIFA’s threat of a ban from international competitions came after the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) on 25 July decided to postpone elections for its board until further notice. The Iraqi FA elections, which were supposed to take place on 24 July, were postponed following allegations that Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government had attempted to oust top officials from sport bodies suspected of having ties to the Sunni-led former government of Saddam Hussein.However, on monday, FIFA decided to give the IFA a one year extension. In a statement, FIFA added  "This deadline should allow both groups to settle their differences and to thus permit the election of a new board."The decision paves the way for Asian Cup champions Iraq to defend their title at the tournament in Qatar next January.

SOURCE: World Football Insider