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Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Fifa issues world ban to Iraqi FA

The Iraqi national football team
Iraq's players line up for their friendly against Palestine in July

The Fifa Emergency Committee has suspended the Iraq Football Association due to government interference.

This week the Iraqi Olympic Committee disbanded the IFA and security forces seized control of its headquarters.

World football's governing body Fifa called the move "incomprehensible" and gave 72 hours for order to be restored.

The warning was not heeded and clubs and representative teams of Iraq cannot now compete in international matches, whether friendly or competitive.

One competition the Emergency Committee has relented on is an U-16 women's regional football festival organised by the Norwegian Football Association in Jordan between 22 and 29 November.

Iraq's Olympic committee and the IFA have had a long-running dispute over who controls the game in the country.


Olympic committee members blame the IFA for a continuing Fifa ban on the country hosting international matches, because of fears over insecurity.

This year Fifa did allow Iraq to host its first international friendlies since the American-led invasion of 2003, two games against Palestine, and on Wednesday they are due to play the United Arab Emirates away, but overall the ban remains in place.

The IFA has refused a demand from the Olympic committee to elect a new board.

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see also
Iraq united behind football stars
22 Jul 09 |  Middle East
Iraqi footballers win on return
10 Jul 09 |  Middle East
Fifa relaxes Iraqi World Cup ban
29 May 08 |  Internationals
Iraq fights football ban
27 May 08 |  Middle East
In pictures: Iraqi football fever
29 Jul 07 |  In Pictures
Iraq celebrates football victory
29 Jul 07 |  Middle East

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