Jan 19, 2020, 6:30 PM
Journalist ID: 1195
News Code: 83640239
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AFC decision on Iran totally political: Sports Minister

Tehran, Jan 19, IRNA – Iran’s Minister of Sport and Youth Masoud Soltanifar said on Sunday that the decision by Asian Football Confederation concerning Iranian football clubs is totally political and has nothing to do with sports and football.

Soltanifar said that AFC has decided to strip Iranian football clubs of their right to host their matches based on misinformation provided by Western media.

He underlined that hundreds of flights are in the process right now over Iran's air, adding: "Fake news and information must not be a basis for decision-making by such credible entity as the AFC.

Iran sent two letters to AFC and International Football Federation to protest the decision and in the meantime, Iran’s representative in AFC Executive Committee objected it, according to the minister.

He said that Iran has also expressed its opposition to the decision through letters to both heads of the AFC and Olympic Council of Asia.

Arguing that flights over Iran are not safe, the AFC announced in a letter on Thursday that the Iranian teams are not allowed to host their own matches in the AFC Champions League and that the games should be held in a third country.

Iranian sports officials and the managers of the four teams to represent Iran in the AFC Champions League, i.e. Perspolis, Esteghlal, Sepahan, and Shahr-e Khodro, announced that if they are to play in a third country, they will withdraw from the League.

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