Blatter expects Iran to meet FIFA requirements
"They will do it because they are now working in Zurich with our people to have it ready," Blatter said.india Updated: Dec 01, 2006 20:29 IST
The head of soccer's world governing body expects Iran will meet FIFA's requirements for full reinstatement in time to avoid any messy expulsion from the Asian Games. Sepp Blatter said while it remained a possibility that Iran could be kicked of the Games in Doha, it was more likely the Iranians would meet the December 5, 2006 deadline for membership compliance after meetings at FIFA headquarters in Switzerland.
"They will do it because they are now working in Zurich with our people to have it ready," Blatter said.
Iran's was suspended from international competition last week because of government's interference in the national soccer federation. The suspension was temporarily lifted by FIFA on Monday, allowing the team to defend its Asian Games title pending changes at the national federation.
Despite missing an earlier deadline to reinstate elected soccer federation president Mohammed Dadgan, Iran had contacted FIFA and pledged compliance with the sport's regulations, Blatter said. Iran, which played in the 2006 World Cup, won the Asian Games title in 1974, 1990, 1998 and 2002. It kicked off its title defense with a 3-1 victory over the Maldives on Wednesday. Speaking at a news conference in Doha, Blatter said FIFA had been working for a solution that would allow the Iranian team to take part in the Asian Games.
"We don't wish that football is not played, we only want that the statutes are respected," Blatter said.
Failure to meet FIFA's conditions could also keep Iran out of 2007 Asian Cup, being played in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
First Published: Dec 01, 2006 20:25 IST