More Details about Iraq Soccer

International Herald Tribune article sheds some light.

Sunday’s game, and the return leg against Iraq in Dubai on June 7, was in jeopardy because FIFA threatened to expel the Iraqi team unless its government backed down from its reported disbanding of the country’s National Olympic Committee and all the sports federations involved with it.

This was unlawful according to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a Swiss.

“It would be a great shame if the reigning Asian Cup champion was suspended from World Cup qualifying,” reiterated Mohamed bin Hammam, the Qatari who is reshaping the Asian confederation as its president. “But it would send a strong message to governments who tried to interfere in the running of the national sports associations.”

The Iraqi government said that the country’s Olympic Committee was unconstitutional because elections had not been held for five years, the committee’s chairman was missing, presumed kidnapped or dead, and other committeemen had fled the country. The sports ministry promise that legitimate elections would take place for an independent Olympic body within three months.

Oh yeah, the chairman who’s missing, presumed kidnapped or dead. Holy cow.

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