IFA suspension provisionally lifted
© AFP

The FIFA Emergency Committee has today, Thursday, 29 May 2008, decided to provisionally and conditionally lift the suspension imposed on the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) on 26 May due to serious governmental interference after decree no. 184/2008 of 20 May had dissolved the governing bodies of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee (NOC) and all national sports federations, including the IFA, and set up an "interim committee" presided over by the Minister of Sport.

Since then, the situation has changed. Yesterday, 28 May 2008, FIFA received a letter from the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Iraq, confirming that the IFA had been "excluded" from the above-mentioned decree, thereby re-establishing the statutory order of the Iraqi association and its leaders, who will "continue their activities inside and outside Iraq till legal election [within the IFA]".

This letter is a positive step, however it does not fully answer all of FIFA's concerns about the governmental attempts to control the Iraqi federations and the Iraqi National Olympic Committee.

Therefore, FIFA has decided to lift the suspension imposed on the IFA, but on a purely provisional and conditional basis. This means that FIFA:
- may re-impose the suspension immediately if article 17 of the FIFA Statutes is violated again;
- will invite a delegation consisting of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the IFA and representatives of the Iraqi government to Zurich as soon as possible to clarify all outstanding issues;
- will continue to coordinate the steps it has taken with regard to the IFA, a body that is an important member of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, with the efforts taken by the IOC to ensure that the Olympic Charter is applied to the entire Iraqi Olympic and sporting movement.