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News number: 9003180354

10:35 | 2011-06-08


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Ahmadinejad Slams FIFA for Banning Iranian Women's Footballers

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called FIFA "dictators and colonialists", after the world football governing body banned the Iranian women's national team from an Olympic qualifier because of wearing Islamic dress.

"Theses are the dictators and colonialists who want to impose their lifestyle on others," Ahmadinejad said during a press conference here in Tehran on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad said he had assigned Vice-President and Head of the Physical Education Organization Ali Saeedlou to pursue the case.

"We will deal with those who carried out this ugly job. We pursue (attainment of) the inalienable rights of our girls," he continued.

Meantime, Head of the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) Ali Kaffashian sent a letter to FIFA President to protest at the football governing body for its anti-Islamic approach and disrespect for national values.

"Iran's women team took part in the Olympic qualifier according to FIFA rules. FIFA commissioner's decision to bar the Iranian team is not logical," Kaffashian wrote in a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Kaffashian reminded that the Iranian team had used the clothing in competitions accepted by FIFA, but the Bahraini official in charge of the match refused to let the Iranian team to compete against Jordan on June 3 due to using previously-certified jerseys and cap."

"No rule says that using this kind of jersey is dangerous and we see that many players in the world are using the same T-shirt," he said in the letter.

Kaffashian had also warned on Saturday that he would file a lawsuit to FIFA against the Bahraini official who banned Iranian women soccer team from competing against Jordan..

Iran had the same problem at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore but Tehran officials resolved the issue eventually.

FIFA cancelled the Friday match in Amman and declared Jordan 3-0 winners after Iranian football players refused to remove their headscarves and track suits.

In Tehran, the IFF vice-president and head of women's affairs said Iran had made changes to its women's kit after a FIFA ban last year and believed it had been given the approval of the world federation and its president, Sepp Blatter.

"We made the required corrections and played a match afterwards," Farideh Shojaei told Reuters tv in an interview.

"We played the next round and were not prevented from doing so, and they didn't find anything wrong. That meant that there are no obstacles in our path, and that we could participate in the Olympics."