Gianni Infantino: Politics Should Stay Out of Football
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that it's very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics.
Infantino said diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran should not be allowed to get in the way of football.
Saudi clubs have refused to play in Iran since Saudi Arabia broke off relations in January 2016 forcing AFC Champions League fixtures with Iranian clubs to be played in neutral fields.
"It's very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics," Infantino said at a joint news conference in Tehran with Iranian sport minister Masoud Soltanifar.
"There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact on the football tournament. The solution is always just to play home and away like in every competition in every country."
"Obviously the guarantees must be there, the safety must be there," he said.
The Iranian minister denied there were any legitimate security concerns, firstpost reported.
"Iran is a totally safe country. We asked (Infantino) to insist on that so we can host games in the normal way from the next round and our clubs will not be forced to go to third countries to be able to play," Soltanifar said.