Challenging days ahead of Iran football federation

Iran football federation

Tehran Times - The Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) has challenging days ahead at the end of 2021 and the early months of 2022.

The most critical issue that has turned into a tricky case during recent years is the situation of the FFIRI's statutes.

Indeed, as complicated as the statutes case has been so far, it might become even more complicated in the future.

The FFIRI held its Presidential election earlier this year, after resolving some of FIFA's primary concerns, alleging the Government interference.

The removal of the Ministry of Sports' role in internal FFIRI affairs was one of eight issues FIFA called on the governing body to address.

However, in a letter addressed to the Iranian Football Federation on Oct. 21, 2020, FIFA acknowledged that it had temporarily approved Iran's amended football statutes, but it still has legal defects. In fact, FIFA had left the way open for the elections of the FFIRI president.

Elections were held in February after the FFIRI resolved FIFA's concerns, with Shahabeddin Azizi Khadem becoming the president of the Iranian football federation by a majority of votes.

Now, it's up to the Parliament of Iran (known as the Islamic Consultative Assembly) to institute the revised statutes of the FFIRI by March 1, 2022.

Earlier, Iran's Guardian Council, one of Iran's highest bodies, announced the approval of the statute of the Amateur Sports Federations of the Islamic Republic. The statute of the Football Federation is one of the sub-statutes of this general statute.

On Oct. 21, Ahmadreza Barati, head of the football federation's Regulations and Implementation Committee, asked the Iranian parliament to approve the government's bill to amend various statutes, especially the football federation's statutes.

The most disputed part of the amended statutes of the FFIRI was where the federation was described as a public and non-governmental organization. FIFA firmly emphasized that the word "public" in Iran's law meant that the federation is subject to some state laws, and the government can monitor it, so the title should be removed.

Privatization of clubs and allowing women to attend stadiums are the other issues that FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have demanded the FFIRI to resolve. If these objections raised by FIFA in the statutes are not resolved before the deadline set by FIFA – March 2022 - many problems will be created for Iranian football; among them is the probable suspension of the FFIRI.

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