FIFA officially informed the IR Iran Football Federation (IRIFF) yesterday (19 December 2006) that the suspension imposed on the federation on 23 November 2006 had been lifted. Therefore, the IRIFF and its clubs, referees, officials, etc may participate in all international football competitions and activities with immediate effect.

The FIFA Emergency Committee, composed of the FIFA President and one representative of each of the six confederations, took the decision to lift the ban on 18 December as a result of a series of cooperative negotiations between FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the IRIFF and the Physical Education Organisation (PEO) of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The negotiations resulted in the establishment of a Transitory Board ('Haiet Raiseh Enteghali' in Farsi) of the IRIFF, jointly recognised by FIFA and the PEO, with the following duties:

o The management of Iranian football at national and international levels;
o The drafting and ratification of new statutes for the IRIFF based on the FIFA Standard Statutes;
o The organisations of elections for the future leadership of the IRIFF, based on these new statutes and with the support of FIFA and the AFC.

The Transitory Board is to be composed of Mr Mohsen Safaei Farahani as chairman, Mr Qumars Hashemi as deputy chairman and Mr Mohammad Hassan Ansarifar, Dr Hassan Ghafiri, Dr Mohammad Khabiri and Mr Ali Reghbati as members (listed in English alphabetical order).

It is planned that the whole process of transition will be completed by 31 March 2007.

With this commitment, the IRIFF is now in a position to normalise its structure and statutes in accordance with the FIFA and AFC regulations. This development signifies that the objections raised by FIFA, which gave rise to the suspension of the IRIFF, have been removed.