FIFA will not exclude Iran from World Cup

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March 5, 2006 10:14

 
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FIFA will ignore calls for Iran to be expelled from of this summer's World Cup because of the controversy over its nuclear activities, a top official from world soccer's governing body said Sunday. "FIFA has nothing to do with politics," said Emmanuel Maradas, a FIFA spokesman and special assistant to Sepp Blatter, the organization's president. "Iran is a FIFA member, they have qualified for the World Cup and they will be there to play football for the good of Iranian youth and for the good of peace." The idea of expelling Iran from the tournament in Germany was raised by European and Israeli lawmakers after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Nazi Holocaust as a "myth" and Iran resumed disputed nuclear activities. Iran's national squad is scheduled to play its first match against Mexico in Nuremberg on June 11. The other teams in its qualifying Group D are Portugal and Angola.

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