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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 19, 2010

Soccer: FIFA lifts Iraq's ban from international competition

Associated Press

ZURICH FIFA has lifted a ban on Iraq that excluded the country's teams and officials from taking part in international soccer.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Friday that Iraq was welcomed back because its Olympic committee reversed a decision to disband the national soccer federation.

Blatter said FIFA worked closely with the International Olympic Committee before lifting the ban.

Iraqi soccer officials must present FIFA with new statutes by May 31 and hold a general assembly two months later.

The world soccer governing body suspended Iraq in November because of political interference in soccer business. FIFA's rules require full independence of national federations.