Iran’s President Asks FIFA to Help Football in Developing Countries
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined football’s capacity to boost cultural relations between countries, and asked Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to help promote the sport in the developing countries.
President of FIFA Joseph Sepp Blatter, who is in Tehran to attend the 2nd International Football and Science Congress, met with President Rouhani at Iran’s presidential office here in Tehran on Wednesday.
During the meeting also attended by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Rouhani stressed that “football is capable of bringing the world countries’ culture and relations closer”.
“Today football is no longer just a sport, but football stars are now acting as peace ambassadors of countries who are present all around the world on sports fields,” he said.
He said the presence of Blatter and Sheikh Salman in Iran is a good opportunity for the growth and development of football in Iran.
President Rouhani also thanked Blatter and Sheikh Salman for supporting Iran's bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup. He also hailed Blatter's efforts to provide the ground for participation of Muslim women -- with due attention to religious considerations -- in international footbal events, saying such measures can help develop and promote football in the Islamic countries.
Blatter, for his part, praised Iranians’ talent in football.
He pointed to national Iranian football team’s presence in 2014 Brazil World Cup, and stated that Iranian football players will act as Iran’s “ambassadors” in Brazil.
The FIFA president also called on the Iranian government to pave the ground for the presence of private sector in Iran’s football, adding that the move will result in improvement of the popular sport in the country.