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N-row won't affect Iran's place in World Cup: FIFA

Critics have even suggested UNSC's intervention to ban the Iranian squad from playing in the tournament.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 12:25 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

FIFA has said that controversies surrounding Iran over its nuclear activities will in no way influence its place in the World Cup.

Ignoring calls for Iran to be expelled from of this summer's World Cup because of the nuclear issues, Emmanuel Maradas, FIFA spokesman and special assistant to FIFA presidentSepp Blatter,said that FIFA has got nothing to do with politics.

"Iran is a FIFA member. They have qualified for the World Cup and they will be there to play football for the good of Iranian youth and for the good of peace."

The idea of expelling Iran from the tournament in Germany was raised by European and Israeli lawmakers after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Nazi Holocaust as a "myth" and Iran resumed disputed nuclear activities.

Iran's national squad is scheduled to play its first match against Mexico in Nuremberg on June 11. The other teams in its qualifying Group D are Portugal and Angola.

Some critics have suggested that the United Nation's Security Council should act to ban the Iranian squad from the final tournament.

"The Security Council's decisions are not a concern of FIFA," Maradas said. "Iran will be welcome in Germany."

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 12:25 IST