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FIFA wants tension between Iran, Saudi Arabia not to affect football
Teheran, March 1: The president of FIFA on Thursday called for easing of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and not to let it affect any football events.
In a meeting with Iranian Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar, FIFA's Gianni Infantino expressed his hope that the problem of holding matches between the two countries in their respective territories would be resolved, reports Efe.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation in January 2016 prohibited Saudi clubs from playing matches against Iranian teams in Iran, shortly after Riyadh broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran.
Soltanifar asked Infantino to deal with this issue in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation so that Iran could organise matches without the need to play in a neutral third country.
Infantino said that politics should never intervene in football, nor football in politics.
The FIFA President invited the Iranian Sports Minister and the President, Hassan Rouhani, to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Iranian team, led by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, was put in Group B of the World Cup, along with Portugal, Spain and Morocco, and is scheduled to debut on June 15 against Morocco in St. Petersburg.