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Iran Protest Rejected by AFC

Iran Protest Rejected by AFCIran Protest Rejected by AFC

The Asian Football Confederation has dismissed a protest from Iran over its quarter-final loss to Iraq in the continental championship, saying the complaint over the eligibility of Alaa Abdulzehra was unfounded.

The AFC disciplinary committee held an emergency meeting Sunday, on the eve of the Asian Cup semi-final between South Korea and Iraq in Sydney, and gave Iran the opportunity to produce evidence to support its claim that Abdulzehra should have been disqualified for the quarter-finals last Friday due to an alleged doping infraction while he played for Tractorsazi last year in the Iranian domestic league.

“The disciplinary committee heard oral evidence from two (Iran) officials, deliberated the matter based on its merits, and decided that the protest was unfounded,” the AFC said in a statement. “The protest was, therefore, dismissed,” AP reported.

In a dramatic quarterfinal match, Iran twice scored equalizers in extra time to force a draw before losing 7-6 in a penalty shootout to the 2007 Asian Cup champions.