ID : N-717 Date : 2017/11/25 - 10:59
(Persia Digest) – The efforts of the Iranian Football Federation have finally yielded results and the Asian Football Confederation games committee (AFC) voted in favor of Iran hosting the games with the Saudis and the UAE.
Over the past two years, Saudi Arabia’s insistence on holding the games in a third country had inflicted heavy losses on Iranian football. This led to Iran lodging complaints in various international courts and the Asian Football Confederation finally put the decision to hold the games in Saudi Arabia and Iran to the vote.
Following talks by the representatives of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, Mahdi Taj from Iran took the floor as a FIFA member. He spoke of Iran as a highly secure country which has also led to FIFA allowing teams from Iraq to travel to Iran for the World Cup preliminary games with Australia and Japan.
Taj said the decision to hold games between Iran and Saudi Arabia in third countries is not the right thing to do and it has been a disappointment for sponsors. Iran’s greatest football asset, its spectators, have been deprived from attending the games. These two issues have inflicted heavy losses on the football of Iran and Asia.
Voting took place following the effective talk by Taj and the majority of the members voted in favor of holding the games in Iran and Saudi Arabia. For the first time in two years, clubs from both countries, including their national teams, will travel to each other’s countries and holding the games in a third country will be canceled as from the new season. The UAE teams who also supported the Saudi views will now have to travel to Iran.
The AFC committee’s decision must be ratified by its Board of Directors. It is highly unlikely that they will go against the vote of the committee.