AFC President, Iran’s Sports Minister hold phone talk amid AFC’s controversial decision

MNA – Iranian Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Masoud Soltanifar held a phone conversation with the President of the Asian Football Confederation, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, on Sunday.

The phone talk comes as AFC has informed the Iranian football federation that Iranian teams should host their rivals in neutral venues during the 2020 AFC Champions League. AFC’s Executive Committee has not issued the final ruling on the case yet but the initial decision has sparked harsh criticism towards AFC for mingling politics into sports.

“Iran is a safe country and has no problem in air traffic as the letter of Iran Civil Aviation Organization, which has been delivered to you, notes. Furthermore, I will guarantee the security of the teams that will be guests of Iran’s football,” Iranian Sports Ministry website quoted Soltanifar as saying.

“It seems that the decision of Competitions Committee has been made under the influence of foreign anti-Iranian media,” he said, noting that such behavior towards most popular teams of Asia is ‘surprising’.

For his part, Sheikh Salman promised to reconsider the decision.