Iran issue protest over ineligible Iraq player in Asian Cup quarter-final

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Persianfootball.com – SYDNEY, Iran’s football federation (IFF) has issued an official protest against the result of yesterday’s Asian Cup quarter-final clash, Iranian news agency ISNA reported.

The protest is targeted at the usage of 27-year-old midfielder Alaa Abdul-Zahra, who played 65 minutes versus Iran in the penalty shootout elimination of Team Melli following a 3-3 deadlock after extra time.

Abdul-Zahra had been tested positively on Methylhexanamine whilst his short spell at Iran’s Tractorsazi Tabriz back in late summer 2014, but the case couldn’t be followed up by the Iranian football federation due to the midfielder quickly leaving for Iraq’s Al Shorta in September, Iran’s Fars News agency reported on the initial case.

The Iranian officials then passed the case on to FIFA in order to pursue the case further in cooperation with Iraq’s football federation.

However, no obvious investigations or even sanctions have resulted from this action ever since.

Iran’s officials escalated the case again ahead of the quarter-final match in Canberra on Friday, also sending two letters to FIFA on this matter according to Houshang Nasirzadeh, head of IFF’s legal committee, but nevertheless Abdul-Zahra started the match for Iraq.

Iran’s team manager Mohammad Nabi and translator Houshang Moghadas are currently in Sydney, where they have issued the required fees and are in talks with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on this matter, ISNA reports.

Iran’s national team have meanwhile postponed their departure from Australia to Monday, in order to stand-by for a possible semi-final clash versus South Korea on the same day.

Reportedly usage of Methylhexanamine usually results in the convicted player being barred from playing football between 6 and 24 months.


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