Iran Sanctions Draw ‘Red Card’ in Football
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Iran Sanctions Draw ‘Red Card’ in Football


The U.S.-led sanctions against Iran are reportedly having a considerable impact on the life of ordinary Iranians. There are also consequences for the country’s favorite sport of football.

A ban on financial transactions with Iranian banks is causing problems.

Iranian referees who have worked in international games have had problems drawing payments and the Asian Football Confederation tried to transfer $1 million to the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) recently but was unable to do so.

Ali Kafashian, the IFF’s president, was quoted as saying the following:

“Iranian Football Federation is an NGO and it’s not a governmental association. But Iran’s enemies are trying hard to put pressure on Iran’s football which is one of the most loved sports in the country. Our enemies [have] made several problems for Iranian Football Federation but they cannot hurt our move forward.”

Along with financial problems, there are other issues.

The dispute between United Arab Emirates and Iran over the three islands in the Strait of Hormuz has once again spread into of world of football.

The initial spat led to the cancellation of a friendly game between the two in April.

It’s all about a dispute over the tiny but resource-rich Abu Musa island, as well as the nearby Greater and Lesser Tunb islands.

All three came under Iranian control in 1971 after the departure of the British, but the UAE also claim the islands. All are close to the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, a narrow body of water that sees about one fifth of the world’s oil pass through on a daily basis.

In the past three months, however, relations between the two countries have not improved.

According to Kafashian, the UAE has told its professional football clubs not to sign Iranian players.

What seems to be informal soccer sanctions is a setback for the Iranian game, as the UAE is often the first and only experience many of the country’s players have of overseas play.

Legends such as Ali Daei, Javad Nekounam and Ali Karimi all have appeared in the UAE league at some point in their careers.

Recently, the loan of international Mohammad Reza Khalatbari at Dubai’s Al Wasl was not renewed and other stars such as Iman Mobali and Pejman Nouri have left the country.

July 13, 2012 at 04:49

Iran has been under sanctions for many years, it has not worked. Iranians has been pushed too much and i don't think they don't know how to make the bomb, if N.Korea has the know-how for sure they have passed it to Iran. If they are cornered they might think the only solution is to bring the bomb out and then what we are going to do….

July 13, 2012 at 04:09

Are you kidding? Iranians are supposed to cry and give back 3 islands so that Iranians players can play in a nonsense country of UAE? 
The article misleads the audience. UAE was created a day after the Islands were transferred to Iran. It did not exist before, So how could it claim the islands? 
Let us not forget that the American people are suffering because of the actions of our government by embezzeling money through the banks and repossessing people's homes. Remember no nation has a worse debt problem than the US and our allies. Keep your tears for ourselves. 

SG Parish
July 12, 2012 at 02:54

Gee…I guess the whole point of the sanctions is working….!!!! Seems we care more about a sport, than the civil rights and atrocities against the populace of the whole nation….get a grip people and keep the sanctions in place !!!!

July 12, 2012 at 02:33

Soccer games and building bombs just don't go well together. Expect more players to leave the country.

July 12, 2012 at 00:32

It seems unfair from the footballers perspective. To the outside world it is clearly a 'line in the sand'. To make a concession for the footballers would be tacit approval of Iran ,in all of its guises .Chief among them Amadinejad. He is despised by many in the world. His stance on Israel is enough to cause the USA (and her close friends)  to make sure the sanctions are adhered to meticulously. Twas ever thus.

July 12, 2012 at 00:04

A shame, ordinary people have to suffer by government actions. Olympic are to spread good will, what is this act achieving? Government association in any form should be banned from Olympics.

July 11, 2012 at 23:28

I will assure you, Iranians won't compromise with their homeland and territory. Those 3 islands in Persian Gulf always belong to Iran. 

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