PtG Article 18.11.2009

Iraq face FIFA ban

FIFA threatens to throw out Asian football champions Iraq after the Iraqi Olympic Committee has taken control of and disbanded the Iraqi FA.

The current Asian football champions Iraq could be thrown out of international football by the end of this week, world body FIFA has warned.

The Iraqi Olympic Committee has taken control of and disbanded the Iraqi Football Association (IFA), which was founded in 1948 and joined FIFA two years later.

On learning of the IFA’s dissolution, FIFA gave of the Iraqi Olympic Committee’s move 72 hours from November 16 to restore the body.

“The basis on which such a decision could be taken is incomprehensible to FIFA,” the world body said in statement. “This stands in total contradiction with IFA and FIFA statutes.

“If the decision to dissolute IFA is not cancelled within … and if the IFA Headquarters are not returned to the IFA within the same deadline, FIFA will have no choice but to refer the issue to the FIFA Emergency Committee in order to decide on a possible IFA suspension.

“FIFA appeals once more to all stakeholders in Iraq to respect the autonomy of sport in general and the IFA in particular and to allow IFA to conduct its affairs according its statutes and those of FIFA.”

If the matter is referred to FIFA’s emergency committee, Iraq faces almost certain suspension.

FIFA notoriously brooks no political interference in any of its member bodies. Earlier this year, FIFA suspended Kuwait – for the second time since 2007 - for political interference, while the football association of Brunei was cut of from FIFA’s lucrative membership roster for the same reasons in September.