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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 15:37 GMT
Fifa lifts Iran international ban
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World football's governing body Fifa has officially lifted its ban on Iran playing international football with immediate effect.

Fifa originally suspended Iran because of excessive government interference.

Negotiations took place between Fifa, the Asian Football Confederation, the Physical Education Organisation of Iran, and the Iran Football Federation.

A transitory board of the IRIFF has been established, and Iran will now take their place in the Asian Cup.

Fifa has strict statutes that forbid government influence on affiliated football associations.

The suspension was originally imposed after Iranian football president Mohammed Dadkan was sacked by government officials for the country's failure at the World Cup in Germany.

The deal was negotiated by Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed bin Hammam.

"I'm grateful to the political leaders in Iran for understanding that we're not dealing with the internal running of their country," added Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

"If you participate in Fifa everybody has to abide by the Fifa statutes, otherwise they can stay in their country."



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