Iran denies penalizing players over green bands

Iran Materials 25 June 2009 13:45 (UTC +04:00)

Head of the Iranian parliament's Sports Committee rejects reports of a ban on four Iranian football players for wearing green wrist bands in the Iran-South Korea match, Press TV reported.

"No player has been banned and basically Parliament is not authorized to impose such a ban," Jalal Yahya-zade said on Thursday.

The announcement came after a number of international media outlets including the CNN claimed that four members of the Iranian national football team were banned for life after what they called 'a display of political support' for the defeated presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi.

A number of Iranian footballers wore green arm- and wrist-bands during the first half of the Iran-South Korea game on June 17.

On Tuesday, the Iranian striker Ali Karimi and winger Mehdi Mahdavikia announced their retirement from the Iranian national soccer squad which failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

According to Iran's Football Federation (IFF) Vice President Mehdi Taj, the two top players bade farewell to the national team of their own volition.