Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (center) with national team members in March (Fars)
November 27, 2006 -- Defending champion Iran will be allowed to compete in the Asian Games soccer tournament after the game's ruling body, FIFA, temporarily lifted an international ban on the team.
FIFA recently announced the suspension
of Iran -- which has won Asian Games titles in 1974, 1990, 1998, and 2002 -- from all international competition because of what it described as government interference in the sport.
But organizers said today that FIFA had temporarily lifted the suspension and Iran's soccer team now can participate in the 15th Asian Games.
FIFA has objected to Iranian authorities' ousting of the Iran Football Federation's leadership earlier this year and demanded that they reinstate board members.
Iran is the second country to have received FIFA sanctions in recent months. Kenya was suspended in October for failing to respect signed agreements and other recurrent problems.