Iran steps into line with Fifa

TEHRAN - The Iranian Football Federation (FFI) has moved to change its structures to end the row with football's world governing body Fifa, it was confirmed in Tehran yesterday.

TEHRAN - The Iranian Football Federation (FFI) has moved to change its structures to end the row with football's world governing body Fifa, it was confirmed in Tehran yesterday.

Fifa agreed on Wednesday to lift the suspension on Iran for excessive government interference in football and thus allow the country's return to international football.

It has been agreed to set up a transitory board at the Iranian federation to amend the federation's structure within 100 days and achieve independence from the government.

Informed football sources in Tehran said establishing the temporary committee shows that the Iranian side has also made some political concessions.

Former FFI head Mohsen Safaie-Farajani, a renowned reformist and close aide to former president Mohammad Khatami, will chair the committee though the federation is currently ruled by officials close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Safaie-Farajani and two technocratic rather than ideological football officials were explicitly asked by Fifa to be in the committee in order to decrease governmental influence, football sources said.

Fifa suspended Iran last month after former FFI president Mohammed Dadkan was dismissed by government officials following Iran's early exit at this year's World Cup in Germany.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran's sports issues, including the Olympic committee and all federations, are run by the so-called Physical Education Organisation. - Sapa-DPA

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