Last Update 21:10
Thursday, 20 September 2018

FIFA boss says Saudi-Iran spat should keep out of football

AFP , Thursday 1 Mar 2018
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (AFP)
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (AFP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 841
Share/Bookmark
Views: 841

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that a two-year diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran should not be allowed to get in the way of football.

Saudi clubs have refused to play in Iran since the kingdom broke off relations in January 2016 forcing AFC Champions League fixtures with Iranian clubs to be played in neutral Oman.

"It's very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics," Infantino said at a joint news conference in Tehran with Iranian Sport Minister Massoud Soltanifar.

"There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact on the football tournament.

"The solution is always just to play home and away like in every competition in every country."

The FIFA chief acknowledged that Saudi Arabia had voiced security concerns after protesters angry at its execution of a top Shiite cleric attacked its embassy and a consulate in Iran, prompting it to cut ties.

"Obviously the guarantees must be there, the safety must be there," he said.

The Iranian minister denied there were any legitimate security concerns.

"Iran is a totally safe country," he said.

Soltanifar welcomed "FIFA's non-political approach."

"We asked (Infantino) to insist on that so we can host games in the normal way from the next round and our clubs will not be forced to go to third countries to be able to play."

Later on Thursday, Infantino was due to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani before watching a derby match between Tehran rivals Persepolis and Esteghlal.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.