FIFA ban Iraq from international football | sports | Hindustan Times
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FIFA ban Iraq from international football

sports Updated: Nov 21, 2009 11:25 IST
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World football's governing body FIFA has announced its decision to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) until further notice "because of government interference".

"In accordance with FIFA statutes, the clubs and representative teams of Iraq are no longer permitted to take part in international matches, whether friendly or competitive," read a statement on the FIFA website yesterday.

"Furthermore, the IFA is deprived of its right to vote at any congresses held by international bodies and is no longer entitled to receive financial assistance."

Despite the decision, Iraq's women's under-16 team will be allowed to compete in a youth tournament organised by the Norwegian football federation that is due to take place in Jordan from November 22-29.

On Tuesday, FIFA gave the authorities in Baghdad a 72-hour ultimatum to reinstate the IFA or risk suspension from international football.

Police on Wednesday seized control of the IFA's offices after its governing board was dissolved on charges of links to executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

"We are inside the headquarters to protect the premises and the fittings," Colonel Abdel Amir Rissan, who heads a police team in charge of security for official buildings, told AFP.