FIFA have announced that they have suspended the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) from competing at any international level until the situation involving the Iraqi Olympic Committee has been resolved.
The Olympic Committee recently disbanded the IFA - a clear sign of governmental interference, which is strongly opposed by FIFA. The Iraqi authorities were given 72 hours to sort out their differences, but no resolution has been forthcoming.
"The FIFA Emergency Committee has today, Friday, November 20, 2009, decided to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) due to governmental interference," a FIFA statement read.
"FIFA learned on November 16 that the Iraqi Olympic Committee had disbanded the IFA and that governmental security forces had seized control of the IFA headquarters.
"On the same day, FIFA informed the IFA that if the decision was not revoked within 72 hours and if the headquarters were not returned to the IFA by the same deadline, the case would be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee.
"The deadline has expired without revocation of the decision by the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the IFA has not been restored to its headquarters.
"The FIFA Emergency Committee has therefore decided to immediately suspend the IFA until the decision of the Iraqi Olympic Committee is revoked and the IFA retakes possession of its offices.
"In accordance with FIFA Statutes, the clubs and representative teams of Iraq are no longer permitted to take part in international matches, whether friendly or competitive.
"Furthermore, the IFA is deprived of its right to vote at any congresses held by international bodies and is no longer entitled to receive financial assistance. However, the FIFA Emergency Committee has agreed to let the Iraqi women players take part in the Under-16 regional football festival organised by the Norwegian Football Association in Jordan between 22 and 29 November.
"The measures taken by the Iraqi Olympic Committee and the security forces are unacceptable to FIFA as they stand in total contradiction of IFA and FIFA statutes.
"The current members of the IFA Executive Committee are the sole recognised interlocutors for FIFA, and FIFA hopes that they will be rapidly reinstated so that they can work on the agreements that have been reached with regard to the revision of the statutes and the holding of elections."