Kur­dish man elected as chief of Iraqi Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Iraq's foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion fi­nally chose a new pres­i­dent on Satur­day, po­ten­tially staving off threats of in­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion from the sport's global gov­ern­ing body af­ter mul­ti­ple post­pone­ments of the polls.

IFA board elec­tions have long been plagued by chaos and al­le­ga­tions of po­lit­i­cal med­dling, with polls orig­i­nally held in July 2011 marred by claims of mal­prac­tice, while ef­forts in re­cent months to fi­nally hold a new vote have been blighted by mul­ti­ple de­lays and ap­par­ent threats of vi­o­lence.

The never-end­ing crises, which mir­ror the stand­offs and dead­locks in Iraq's na­tional pol­i­tics, have over­shad­owed a rare is­sue with cross-sec­tar­ian ap­peal in a coun­try grap­pling with frag­ile com­mu­nal ties amid de­te­ri­o­rat­ing se­cu­rity.

Gen­eral com­mit­tee mem­bers – the heads of lo­cal clubs, provin­cial sports of­fi­cials and oth­ers – voted 42-33 in fa­vor of pro­mot­ing cur­rent vice pres­i­dent Ab­dulkhaliq Mas­sud, a Kurd, over keep­ing in­cum­bent IFA chief Na­jeh Hmoud in place.

The mul­ti­ple de­lays spurred world foot­ball's gov­ern­ing body Fifa and the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion to warn that if the polls were not held by the end of May, the IFA faced "im­me­di­ate and in­def­i­nite sus­pen­sion".

Fifa and the AFC also al­leged in a let­ter that in the lead-up to the planned April vote, "the AFC rep­re­sen­ta­tive re­ceived threat­en­ing phone calls dur­ing his mis­sion."

The newly ap­pointed chief of Iraqi Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, Ab­dulkhaliq Ma­soud

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