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11/27/06

FIFA temporarily lifts suspension on Iran

Tehran, Nov 27, IRNA-The world's football governing body, FIFA, temporarily lifted Iran's suspension from international soccer on Sunday, enabling the country to defend its soccer title in the 2006 Asian Games (Doha 2006).

FIFA suspended Iran from international soccer Wednesday (Nov 22) because of government interference with the country's soccer federation and violation of Art 17 of FIFA's governing statute.

The suspension, along with the withdrawal of Yemen and Turkmenistan last week, would have meant that five teams from the eight-team qualifying first round, headed by Iraq, advanced to the second round.

In the orginal draw Sunday, Iraq replaced Iran as the seeded team in Poll D.

However, with the FIFA decision temporarily lifting the suspension on Iran, a new draw must be held for the second round of the tournament, Asian Games organizers said Monday.

The decision to lift Iran's suspension temporarily allows the country's Under-23 players to compete in the 2006 Asian Games that is to begin in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Friday, December 1.

The second round begins Tuesday, with the 24 teams split into six groups of four. The top team from each group, along with the top two second-place finishers, will advance to the quarter-finals.

Jordan and Iraq will remain in the tournament to replace Yemen and Turkmenistan, along with two other teams from the qualifying round.

Iran, which played disappointingly in the 2006 World Cup, won the Asian Games title in 1974, 1990, 1998 and 2002.

... Payvand News - 11/27/06 ... --



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