Published: Tue, January 21, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Iran soccer body criticizes AFC ban on organizing global matches

Iran soccer body criticizes AFC ban on organizing global matches

Houshang Nasirzadeh, the former head of legal committee of the Iran football federation, has said that to withdraw from the competition could lead to a different outcome.

Baharvand told state television that if the ban is not revoked, all teams will withdraw from the AFC Champions League.

The federation stated that "the final position of the Iranian clubs and the federation will be announced in the following days", without explaining the reason behind the decision to ban the Champions League matches in Iranian territory.

Tasnim news agency also reported that Iranian clubs made a decision to withdraw from the AFC Champions League after officials of the four clubs met.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation said the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) informed the Iranians of their decision in a letter, the Mehr News Agency reported.

However, Iranian soccer federation has not specified why it was handed down the ban from the AFC, or whether the decision was linked to the recent downing of a Ukraine Airlines passenger plane that killed all 176 onboard over the capital city, Tehran.

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However, the Iranian football federation and the four clubs who will participate in this season's AFC Champions League have chose to take a strong stand against the AFC decision.

Iran staggers under a USA maximum pressure campaign UU. after the president Donald Trump pulled his country from a milestone nuclear agreement in 2018 and again imposed sanctions on Tehran. "This is our absolute right and we insist on it", Bahrvand said.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Persepolis club, Mohammad Hassan Ansarifard, said "there is no safer space in the Middle East and West Asia than Iran".

Iranian national football team get ready to host Iraq and Bahrain teams at the Azadi Stadium in the 2022 World Cup qualification and the continuation of the current condition could jeopardize the country's right to take advantage of its home matches.

"I also believe that AFC's decision is not acceptable but the confederation will ban our football for two years if we pull out from the competition", he said.

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