Saudis vow to boycott football in Iran, citing security fears

Tensions between Tehran and Riyadh are extending to the football pitch, with the Saudi football association saying it would not participate in international matches in Iran out of security concerns, citing the recent storming of its embassy.

Iran blasted the football decision, which follows the Saudi cutting off of diplomatic relations Sunday with Iran, after the weekend storming of the Saudi embassy by a mob in Tehran.

"FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have clear rules that politics has no place in football," Iranian football official Asghar Bagherian told ISNA on Thursday.

The first impact would be on Asian Champions League games involving Saudi and Iranian teams in January and February.

The Saudi decision is illogical and illegitimate, Bagherian said, rejecting a Saudi offer to hold the matches in other Gulf states.

Last update: Fri, 08/01/2016 - 02:00

More from World

Judge orders Michigan officials to begin election recount on Monday

Election officials in the US state of Michigan have been ordered by a federal judge to begin a massive hand recount...

Turkish EU minister calls for opening of new accession chapters

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik called for the opening of two new accession chapters in Turkey's bid to join...

Russian plane crashes attempting to land on carrier near Syria

A second Russian warplane has crashed while attempting to land on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Syria,...

Aleppo rebels under pressure as Syrian regime troops advance further

Syrian regime troops and their allied forces were moving deeper into the rebel-held enclave of eastern Aleppo on...

Southern Thailand's floods kill 12, affect half a million

 Floods in Thailand's southern region have killed 12 and affected nearly 489,000 people since December 1, the...