FIFA suspend Asian Cup football (soccer) champions Iraq

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The FIFA Executive Committee decided to suspend the Iraqi Football Association as of May 26, 2008, following government interference. The Iraqi Government dissolved the Iraqi National Olympic Committee and all national sport federations, including the Iraqi Football Association. The suspension for Iraq is from all tournaments for 12 months.

The FIFA Executive Committee will recommend the suspension to the FIFA Congress, which meets in Sydney on Friday, but left the door open for a reprieve if Baghdad reversed its decision by May 29 at 4:00 PM Central European Time.

The suspension puts Iraq's World Cup qualification in doubt since qualification has already started for the region. Iraq was scheduled to play Australia in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Brisbane on Sunday then again in Dubai next week and if they miss those matches, Australia would be given the points.