Iraq threatened with expulsion from world football by FIFA

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The governing body of world football, FIFA, has threatened Iraq with expulsion after the Iraqi Olympic Committee (IOC) took control of the country's governing body of football and disbanded it. FIFA has given the country 72 hours to restore the Iraq Football Association (IFA); if this is not done, the case is to be referred to FIFA’s emergency committee.

The IFA and the IOC have disputed over who controls the game in the country for several years. The IOC has blamed the IFA for the FIFA ban on the country not being allowed to host international friendly matches due to security reasons. Since the 2003 invasion by American forces, Iraq has hosted two internationals matches, both against Palestine. They are due to play against the United Arab Emirates tomorrow, but the general ban still remains in place.

A statement was released on the FIFA website said: "FIFA appeals once more to all stakeholders in Iraq to respect the autonomy of sport in general and the IFA in particular and to allow IFA to conduct its affairs according its statutes and those of FIFA."

Should the case be passed over to FIFA’s emergency committee, it would most likely result in a ban from the sport.