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News number: 9002310547

12:23 | 2011-05-21


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Bin Hammam Dismisses Saudi Soccer Clubs' Allegations against Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohammed Bin Hammam rejected the allegations raised by a number of Saudi soccer clubs about the poor quality of Iran's hosting in the Asian Clubs Championship matches, and said all the Saudi teams which have traveled to Iran have enjoyed the best facilities and tranquility.

"I am informed that the Saudi clubs have traveled to Iran without any problems and have not been insulted," Bin Hammam said on Saturday, adding, "They went to Tehran and Isfahan in full health and returned to their country without being offended."

He also underlined that despite the allegations, the Saudi clubs have been provided with the necessary facilities and were not insulted during the matches.

The AFC chief further downplayed the slogans chanted by a number of Iranian football fans against the Saudi government for its aggression against Bahrain and the suppression of the country's people, and said such events may happen in the other countries too, and are not important.

During an early May match in Tehran between Persepolis FC, Asia's most popular club, and Al-Ittihad, the first of four Asian championship matches played in the Islamic republic between Iranian and Saudi clubs, some Iranian football fans chanted some slogans in condemnation of the Saudi crimes against the Bahraini people.

After the incident, a number of the Saudi clubs requested that the AFC move the venue for the remaining of the matches from Iran for security reasons.

In response, Iranian Football Federation (IFF) President Ali Kaffashian denounced what he described as Saudi efforts to portray the Islamic republic as too unsafe to host Asian championship matches.