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FIFA censures BFA for deporting Iranians

13 Nov 2011 - 10:10

Islam Times - An official of the Iran Football Federation says football's world governing body, FIFA, has asked the Bahrain Football Association (BFA) for an explanation of the country's recent deportation of Iranian football fans and sports journalists.

Islam Times: The Iran Football Federation (IFF) lodged a complaint with FIFA after Bahraini authorities denied Iranian sports journalists entry into the country.

Iranian reporters and photojournalists arrived at Manama airport on Thursday to cover the World Cup qualifier between the two countries' national squads, which was scheduled to be held on Friday.

According to Iranian officials, the deported journalists and football fans had visas or were cleared to receive visas at the airport.

The chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Iran Football Federation, Omid Jamali, said a FIFA official contacted the IFF to orally apologize for the incident and to tell Iranian officials that FIFA has sent a letter to their Bahraini counterparts demanding an explanation.

In its letter to the Bahrain Football Association, FIFA noted that some deportees were denied entry into the country after a wait of three hours, despite the fact that they already had visas.

“…FIFA expects all the participating member associations… to comply with the international standards established for adequate media coverage of FIFA World Cup qualifiers… In the event that these conditions are not given or fulfilled for every match, FIFA would need to submit the matter to the Organizing Committee for the FIFA World Cup,” the FIFA letter stated.

FIFA also asked for “an official explanation on the reasons which led to the deportation” of Iranian journalists and football fans.