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Politics no reason to expel Iran from World Cup say FIFA

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AFP - Football's world governing body FIFA has no intention of banning Iran from the 2006 World Cup finals insisting sport and politics must not become intertwined.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked widespread outrage recently by describing the Holocaust as "a myth" and several German politicians called for FIFA to expel Iran from next year's World Cup in their homeland.

West Germany's 1974 World Cup winner Wolfgang Overath, now president of Bundesliga side FC Cologne, backed sanctions but FIFA believe mixing sport and politics is a dangerous cocktail.

"You need to keep politics and sport strictly apart," FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren told sports agency SID.

"This is concerned with comments from a politician that the international community must respond to.

"Iran have qualified for the finals and the Iranian Football Federation has not done anything wrong."

Iran, who failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, begin their World Cup against Mexico in Nuremberg on June 11 with further group games against Portugal and Angola.

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