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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 27, 2006

FIFA lifts Iran's suspension for Asian Games

DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Iran's suspension from international soccer was temporarily lifted by FIFA, and the country will be allowed to defend its Asian Games soccer title.

The decision by soccer's world governing body means a new draw must be held for the second round of the tournament, Asian Games organizers said Monday.

FIFA suspended Iran from international soccer Wednesday because of government interference with the country's soccer federation. At an emergency council meeting, FIFA said it had given Iran a Nov. 15 deadline to reinstate elected soccer federation president Mohammed Dadgan and comply with FIFA regulations.

Iran, which played in the 2006 World Cup, won the Asian Games title in 1974, 1990, 1998 and 2002.

The Iran ban, along with the withdrawal of Yemen and Turkmenistan last week, meant that five teams from the eight-team qualifying first round, headed by Iraq, advanced to the second round.

In the original draw Sunday, Iraq replaced Iran as the seeded team in Pool D.

Jordan and Iraq will remain in the tournament to replace Yemen and Turkmenistan, along with two other teams from the qualifying round, organizers said.

The second round begins Tuesday, with the 24 teams split into six groups of four. The top team from each group, along with the top two second-place finishers, will advance to the quarterfinals.

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