Lawmakers say ban on Iranian clubs contrary to AFC statutes

TEHRAN, Jan. 20 (MNA) – Members of the Iranian Parliament condemned the recent decision of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in banning Iranian clubs from hosting their rivals at the 2020 AFC Champions League in Iran.

In a statement read at today’s open session of the Parliament, MPs noted that Iran has proved to be safe and capable of hosting different sports events in the past years.

The statement says that sports have become a new target for attacking Iran’s successes. “The AFC has turned into a place to fulfill political demands,” highlighted lawmakers, adding that the decision to ban Iranian clubs is against AFC’s statutes and Olympic Charter.

AFC has informed the Iranian football federation that Iranian teams should host their rivals in neutral venues during the 2020 AFC Champions League due to security concerns. AFC’s Executive Committee has not issued the final ruling on the case yet but the initial decision has sparked harsh criticism towards AFC for mingling politics into sports. Meanwhile, the four Iranian teams have announced that they will participate in the event only if they can host their opponents in Iran.

Iranian lawmakers voice strong support for the decision of Iranian clubs in withdrawing from the AFC Champions League in case the ban is implemented.

They also urged all the related officials to adopt necessary measures to change AFC’s unfair decision.

MAH/ 4830276

News Code 154740

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