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AFC Cancels Iran Broadcasts Of Asian League Matches

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 10, 2001 shows a worker putting the finishing touches to the new logo of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced that it has "unilaterally canceled" its contract for the live broadcast of the AFC Champions League soccer matches with Iran, in order to respect the international sanctions against Iran's state-run broadcaster.

AFC sent the cancelation letter to the Islamic Republic's Football Federation and state-run television on September 12, the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) reported on its official website.

Responding to the letter, FFIRI sent a message to the AFC, declaring its "readiness" for "necessary cooperation" to pave the way for the live broadcast of the Asian League soccer matches.

The secretary of the FFIRI, Mehdi Mohammad Nabi, also told the state-run Khabar Channel that the contract was with the "commercial section of the AFC," and "the contract should be respected, but the Asian side has failed to fulfill its legal obligations."

Nabi did not elaborate on what exactly the "legal obligations" of the AFC may be.

In the next round of the AFC Champions League, four soccer clubs, Esteqlal, Persepolis, Sepahan, and Shahrkhodro, represent Iran.

The Islamic Republic is deprived of broadcasting the matches live at a time that Iran has bid to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027.

Four other AFC Member Associations have also indicated their intentions to host Asia's soccer crown jewel, including the All India Football Federation, Qatar Football Association, Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and Uzbekistan Football Association. All of them submitted their expressions of interest by the June 30, 2020 deadline.