Iraq suspended by Fifa

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Iraq were today suspended by world governing body FIFA after the Iraqi Olympic Committee dissolved the governing board of the Iraq Football Association.

On Tuesday FIFA warned Iraq would face a ban if the decision was not overturned within 72 hours.

Today FIFA implemented the suspension "until the decision of the Iraqi Olympic Committee is revoked and the IFA retakes possession of its offices" and they hope for a rapid resolution.

A FIFA statement read: "The FIFA Emergency Committee has today, Friday, November 20, 2009, decided to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) due to governmental interference.

"The deadline has expired without revocation of the decision by the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the IFA has not been restored to its headquarters.

"The FIFA Emergency Committee has therefore decided to immediately suspend the IFA until the decision of the Iraqi Olympic Committee is revoked and the IFA retakes possession of its offices.

"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.

"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.

"The measures taken by the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the security forces are unacceptable to FIFA as they stand in total contradiction of IFA and FIFA statutes.

"The current members of the IFA Executive Committee are the sole recognised interlocutors for FIFA, and FIFA hopes that they will be rapidly reinstated so that they can work on the agreements that have been reached with regard to the revision of the statutes and the holding of elections."

FIFA, however, will allow Iraq's under-16 women's team to participate in a regional football festival organised by the Norwegian Football Association in Jordan between November 22 and 29.

In May last year, FIFA suspended the Iraq Football Association after it was dissolved by the Iraq government, along with the country's Olympic Committee and all other sporting bodies.

But FIFA lifted the suspension after receiving a letter from the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Iraq which confirmed the IFA had been "excluded" from the decree.

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