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The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the Asian Football Confederation’s decision to choose Bahrain as its centralized host for upcoming Football World Cup qualifiers.
In mid-March, the AFC awarded Bahrain hosting rights for Group C in Asian qualifying after deciding to keep the upcoming fixtures in one place due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Football World Cup hosts Qatar, as well as China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea, were all respectively awarded hosting duties for their respective groups.
Later that month, the AFC sent a letter to the FFIRI in which it insisted that Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, had not intervened in selecting his home country for the qualifiers. While we appreciate the interest by the FFIRI to host the Qatar Football World Cup 2022 and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. We would like to inform you that the decision was made by the AFC general secretariat after due consideration and deliberation, factoring various areas, including.
“But not limited to the standard of the proposed stadiums, risk assessment on logistical, commercial and financial arrangements for the participating member associations as well as the national COVID-19 pandemic status,” read the letter.
The AFC President does not intervene in the decisions made by the AFC general secretariat. The FFIRI has since announced it would be appealing the hosting rights being given to Bahrain. The AFC has chosen Bahrain as the centralized venue and has said the venue cannot be changed at all, read a statement from FFIRI, as reported by the Tehran Times.
We’ve asked CAS to consider the issue as soon as possible. It is reported that the Bahrain Football Association submitted its interest to host the group on February 16 and offered to pay Iran’s expenses for the competition the following day. For more to know about Football world cup tickets click here.
The Tehran Times reported that Kuwait was awarded hosting over group rivals Jordan in respect to fair play, giving Kuwait their anticipated home tie. Iran was not given this same treatment about Bahrain, with its football authorities expressing concerns over two weeks in late March and refusing to travel to Bahrain’s capital Manama for a proposed meeting on April 3.
FFIRI had to file an appeal to CAS by March 31, which it reportedly did minutes ahead of the legal deadline and this was acknowledged last Monday. An online meeting involving AFC President Sheikh Salman and AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John took place on Tuesday, but the Iran appeal was not discussed. For more to know about Football World Cup Packages click here.
Iran had been scheduled to host three of the four remaining matches before COVID-19 caused issues with qualifying. These were set to take place in Tehran against rivals Iraq, Bahrain and Hong Kong, while their only away game against Cambodia was set to be held in Pnom Penh.
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