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Fifa overturns Iraq World Cup ban

Fifa has temporarily lifted its ban on the Iraqi Football Association meaning that the World Cup qualifiers between Iraq and Australia will go ahead in Brisbane and Dubai on June 1 and June 7 respectively. The 2007 Asian Champions had been suspended for one year by Fifa following the Iraqi government's decision to dissolve the National Olympic Committee.

The ban was overturned after the Iraqi authorities provided written confirmation that they hadn't disbanded the Iraqi Football Association. Fifa were concerned about governmental attempts to control Iraq's sporting federations.

The news has been welcomed in Australia as the FFA had been set to lose 3m Australian dollars in gate receipts. It's also positive news for the millions of Iraqi fans who cheered their team to victory in the Asian Nations Cup last year.

Iraqi's football team is made up of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis transcending the country's sectarian divide and internecine conflict. It would have been an clamorous own goal to not allow them to stake their claim for a place in South Africa in 2010.

Iraq 1 Saudi Arabia 0

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