A high-ranking official of the
Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has been compelled to resign after a Happy New Year greeting was accidentally sent to the Israel Football Association, Press TV reported.
The director of the IFF Foreign Relations Department,
Mohammad-Mansour Azimzadeh, stepped down after the message, apparently sent on his behalf, reached Israeli officials - a mistake that should have never taken place.
In a statement quoted by the Fars news agency on Saturday, the Iranian Football Federation has said that messages of congratulations are sent each year to all members of
FIFA except the "Zionist regime", which is why it was removed from the list of addresses for New Year messages.
The statement added that a FIFA employee named Amir Navan, an Israeli of Iranian origin, forwarded the Iranian greeting message to the Israel Football Association. Following the incident, Azimzadeh submitted his resignation.
Iranian Football Federation President
Ali Kafashian expressed deep remorse over the incident.
Iran severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Tehran does not recognize Israel as a country and refers to it as the Zionist regime and calls the land the occupied Palestinian territories.