Iraq replace banned soccer champions Iran in Doha
Five of the eight teams in the preliminary round progressed to the second stage, organisers said.india Updated: Nov 26, 2006 19:04 IST
Iraq replaced defending champions Iran as the seeded team in Pool D in the second round of the Asian Games soccer tournament when the draw was made on Sunday.
World governing body FIFA suspended Iran, who won the Asian Games title in 1974, 1990, 1998 and 2002, from all international competition last Thursday because of what it cited as government interference in the sport.
The withdrawals of Yemen and Turkmenistan from the Games under-23 tournament meant five of the eight teams in the preliminary round progressed to the second stage, organisers said.
Jordan and Kyrgyzstan replaced Yemen and Turkmenistan as the third-ranked teams in Pools C and F respectively, while Tajikistan and Syria took up the two places originally allocated to first-round qualifiers in Pools A and E.
Singapore, Indonesia and Macau were eliminated.
The final 24 are split into six pools of four, with the group winners and two top runners-up going through to the quarterfinals.
The opening ceremony for the 15th Asian Games takes place in Doha on Friday.