GENEVA (AFP) - FIFA on Tuesday gave Iraq a 72 hour ultimatum to reinstate its national football association or risk suspension from international football.
World football's governing body said in a statement that it had learnt that "the Iraqi Olympic Committee announced the dissolution of the governing board of the IFA (Iraqi Football Association)."
"If the decision to dissolute IFA is not cancelled within 72 hours (starting 16 November), and if the IFA Headquarters are not returned to the IFA within the same deadline, FIFA will have no choice but to refer the issue to the FIFA Emergency Committee in order to decide on a possible IFA suspension," it added.
FIFA's threat, however, was met with disdain in Baghdad.
"The Iraq Olympic Committee will not change its decision, regardless of the consequences," said Samir Mussawi, a member of the committee.
Football is incredibly popular in Iraq and its importance was boosted by the national side's victory in the 2007 Asian Nations Cup, a triumph that prompted wrangles and government involvement over who controlled the sport's affairs.
FIFA has expressed growing concern in recent weeks about possible political interference in the sport in Iraq.
It described the basis for the Iraq Olympic Committee's decision as "incomprehensible... This stands in total contradiction with IFA and FIFA statutes".
In September, FIFA gave the Iraqi football association until April 30, 2010 to elect a new board.
But three weeks ago, it reiterated concerns about interference by "some quarters in the Iraqi government" and warned that it would consider suspension if there was an attempt to force earlier elections of new footballing chiefs.
Iraq was briefly suspended from international football in May 2008, after the Baghdad government dissolved the National Olympic Committee.
It was reinstated only after the government sent a letter to FIFA confirming that the Iraqi Football Federation had not been affected.
The International Olympic Committee had also suspended Iraq's National Olympic Committee from international competition.
But that row was also resolved shortly before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In May, former goalkeeper Raad Hamudi, who led Iraq to its only World Cup appearance in 1986, was elected to head the National Olympic Committee in a vote supervised by international observers.
FIFA said it was appealing "once more to all stakeholders in Iraq to respect the autonomy of sport in general and the IFA in particular."
|Germany vowed not to ´humiliate´ Brazil|
|Hong resigns from South Korea post|
|Third-choice Vlaar ´wasn´t nervous´|
|Van Gaal: I wanted Krul in the shootout|
|Argentina: Key factors in reaching the final|
|Sabella revels in semi-final win|
|Proud Robben feels pain of World Cup exit|
|FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (after extra time, 2-4 on penalties)|
|Susic signs two-year extension with Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Hummels in race to make World Cup final|
|Scolari still baffled by Brazil collapse|
|Spendlhofer and Benedetti leave Inter|
|Neymar ´recovering well´ from injury|
|Villarreal sign Jonathan dos Santos|
|Arteta happy at Arsenal, insists agent|
|Birsa makes Chievo loan switch|
|FIFA suspends Nigeria over political interference|
|Di Stefano funeral held in Madrid|
|Hangeland scathing of ´difficult´ Magath|
|Thiago Silva in fan plea|
|Isgrove earns fresh one-year deal at Southampton|
|Morata edges closer to Juve switch|
|Nugent pens two-year extension at Leicester|
|Gomez delight with ´perfect´ Germany|
|Costa Rica to discuss Pinto future|
|Arfield agrees Burnley extension|
|Allardyce targets four more signings|
|K.League Review: Jeonnam close gap on Pohang, Jeonbuk|
|Maradona: Thrashing damages Brazil´s image|
|Kasami makes Olympiacos move|
|Chelsea complete Pasalic signing|
|Helenius makes temporary Aalborg return|
|Higuain set for Napoli stay|
|Basta targets return to Europe with Lazio|
|Lewandowski willing to adapt for Bayern|
|New Hull deal for Jakupovic|
|Atletico agree Mandzukic deal, claims Sammer|
|Fulham seal Stafylidis loan|
|Alves pens new Valencia deal|
|Ochoa to take time over future|
|Brown could miss three months|
|Adams: Norwich will not overspend|
|Gundogan unsure when rehab can step up|
|Stoke chairman wants long Begovic stay|
|Brazilian media reacts to semi-final exit|
|Icardi vows to remain at Inter|
|Robben is player of the World Cup, says Kluivert|
|Klose focused on final after breaking record|
|Prandelli takes aim at Balotelli, Rossi|
|Schweinsteiger sorry for Brazil battering|
|Brazil scarred for life, says Fred|
|Sabella: Argentina ´have already won´|
|Muller stunned by rout|
|Low lauds ice-cool Germany|
|Tearful Luiz apologizes for semi-final loss|
|Scolari sorry for ´catastrophic´ Brazil hammering|
|Brazil join sport´s biggest chokers|
|Reality kills Brazilian dream on a surreal night|
|FIFA World Cup: Brazil 1 Germany 7|
|Linfield 1 B36 Torshavn 1 (agg 3-2): Feeney´s dream start continues as Linfield progress|
|Clinical Klose smashes World Cup record|
|Klose breaks World Cup goal record|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Goalkeeper Casals provides late Santa gift|
|Demichelis ready to get under Robben´s skin|
|Pukki hits three as Celtic rout Linz|
|Everton complete Barry deal|
|Lucas stars as PSG ease to friendly win|
|Netherlands sweat on Van Persie and Janmaat|
|Nike to end United sponsorship|
|Roma let Dodo go to Inter|
|Juninho backs Brazil despite Neymar blow|
|West Ham confirm Poyet deal|
|Mascherano calls for calm ahead of semi-final|
|Palermo chief looks to emulate Atletico|
|Southampton snap up Tadic|
|Pioli calls for dedication|
|Cocu: Depay should stay at PSV|
|No fears for Irvine over Morrison and Brunt|
|Miranda quashes Atletico exit rumours|
|Aurier keeping options open|
|Samuel set for Sampdoria switch|
|Dudgeon pens new Hull City deal|
|Serero extends Ajax deal|
|Napoli come out in support of Zuniga|
|Prandelli: Mancini helped sell Galatasaray to me|
|Deportivo sack Vazquez|
|FIFA World Cup Preview: Netherlands v Argentina|
|Valverde issues challenge to midfield after Herrera exit|
|Yattara pens Lyon extension|
|M´Vila set for Inter move|
|Fletcher relishing testing pre-season|
|Enrique raring to get started|
|Caballero seals City switch|
|Villa chief executive steps down|
|McCormack completes Fulham switch|
|Monk hoping to make Swansea additions|
|Low: Mertesacker was not ill versus France|
|Mancini: Italy job would be an honour|
|Hughes anticipates Stoke sales|
|Garcia returns home to Perth|
|Luis Garcia heads to India|
|Langerak staying at Dortmund|
|Sakho delighted with support|
|Liverpool, Roma target Yedlin focused on Seattle|
|No Arsenal commitment from Vermaelen|
|Guidolin deserves Italy job, says Di Natale|
|Scolari giving nothing away|
|Ferguson pays tribute to Di Stefano|
|Drulovic backs Markovic´s Liverpool move|
|Brazil to report doctors over Neymar final claims|
|Luis Alberto takes lessons from Liverpool experience|
|Thiago Silva slams Zuniga´s ´coward´s tackle´|
|Low warns referee of Brazil´s brutality|
|Amarildo: Neymar absence could be a blessing|