Monday, 26 May 2008

FIFA suspends Iraqi football team

. CNN reports that footballs governing body, FIFA provisionally suspended the Iraqi national team from international football. The ban, which will last for one year, is due to a government decision to disband the sport's national organising association. A governmental decree last week dissolved the Iraqi National Olympic Committee and all national sport federations, including the football association.

The government now has until Thursday to reverse its decree. If this does not happen then FIFA has said it will present the one-year suspension to the FIFA Congress meeting in Sydney, Australia on Friday. Controversy over the decree has pitted Iraqi Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi who has urged Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to annul the decree, against Iraq's Cabinet which voted last Tuesday to "freeze the work" of the executive office of the country's Olympic committee and all its federations.

According to a senior government official, who asked not to be named, talking to CNN the Cabinet's action was brought about because of corruption charges against the Olympic committee.

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