FIFA provisionally suspends Iraq over government interference

FIFA has provisionally suspended Iraq from international soccer for one year due to a government decision to disband the sport's national organizing association. On the first day of its meetings in Sydney, the FIFA Executive Committee decided Monday to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) following a governmental decree last week which dissolved the Iraqi National Olympic Committee and all national sport federations. The Executive Committee said it would only revoke the suspension if it received by Thursday "written confirmation from the Iraqi government that the decree has been annulled." Iraq was due to play Australia in a World Cup qualifier at Brisbane on Sunday and was scheduled to arrive in the Queensland state capital late Tuesday. Earlier Monday, FIFA chief Sepp Blatter said he remained confident Iraq would be able to fulfill its commitments, but did not rule out the possibility it would be suspended.