Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ban Iran From World Cup

The Iranian Soccer team should be banned from this year's World Cup because of Tehran's nuclear programme, a leading British politician has demanded. Tory Foreign Affairs spokesman Michael Ancram said the move would send a "hard signal" to Islamic state that the international community would not accept the move.
Iran has been criticised by the West for resuming research on nuclear technology. Tehran says the programme is for domestic purposes but the West says it is developing a nuclear bomb. Mr Ancram said exclusion from football's biggest tournament "would give a very, very clear signal to Iran that the international community will not accept what they are doing". "It may be unpleasant, but you can give a very hard signal which isn't going to hurt people as such but is going to at least give a chance of registering in the minds of the Iranian people that what their president is doing is unacceptable to the international community." FIFA, soccer's governing body, said last month it would not expel Iran from the June 9-July 9 World Cup finals in Germany despite calls from German politicians for it to be excluded because the Iranian president denies the Holocaust. FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said: "FIFA is a sporting organisation and not a political organisation."