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Rediff.com  » Sports » FIFA lifts Iraq suspension

FIFA lifts Iraq suspension

May 29, 2008 14:21 IST

The international suspension of the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) was provisionally lifted by FIFA on Thursday, world soccer's ruling body said.

- Iraq claim Asian Cup

The decision means Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Australia in Brisbane and the home game against the Socceroos in Dubai on June 7 will go ahead.

"This is great news," Football Federation Australia chief executive officer Ben Buckley said in a statement.

"We're truly delighted that the Iraqi Government, the Iraq FA and FIFA have sorted out the issues between them and the Socceroos and Iraq can get on the field to play this important World Cup qualifying match on Sunday."

The suspension was imposed on Monday after the Iraqi government issued a decree last week saying it was disbanding the country's National Olympic Committee.

FIFA said the situation had changed following the receipt of a letter from the Iraqi government confirming that the IFA had been excluded from the decree.

The ban has been lifted provisionally and conditionally with FIFA saying it still has concerns over the Iraqi government's attempts to control its national federations.

A delegation from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the IFA will be invited to Zurich to discuss the issues.

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