Saudi, Iran football federations agree to start a new era of cooperation  

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Iranian Football Federation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the start of a new era of cooperation between the two sides.

SAFF President Yasser Al-Misehal and his Iranian counterpart Mehdi Taj signed the MoU in a ceremony held at the SAFF headquarters in Riyadh on Monday.

The MoU aims to enhance cooperation between the federations in a way that serves football in the two countries at the level of Asian football. The two federations have committed to working together to advance the growth and promotion of football in both Saudi Arabia and Iran. Based on the agreement, from now on, the competitions of the football teams of the two countries will be held on a round-trip basis.

The agreement includes exchanging experiences between the two federations by providing comprehensive training courses for referees, and supporting and developing women’s football, futsal and beach soccer.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Misehal said that MoU will work to strengthen relations between the two federations in a way that serves Asian football. On his part, Mehdi Taj, expressed his aspiration to work with SAFF and move forward towards greater cooperation between the two sides, which will reflect positively during the coming period.

It is noteworthy that Iranian Football Federation Vice President Mansour Qanbarzadeh said last Friday that Iran and Saudi Arabia had agreed to sign a MoU to lift a ban on holding matches between their football clubs in the two countries. In a live interview broadcast on Iranian state television, Qanbarzadeh said Iran’s Football Federation President Mehdi Taj and his Saudi counterpart Yasser Al Misehal held a meeting, also attended by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in Australia late last month and agreed to soon sign a MoU to resolve the hosting problem, the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are on the verge of signing the MoU, under which the ban on holding the matches between Iranian and Saudi football teams in the two countries will be removed. Whenever two countries that had differences reach an agreement, other issues will be resolved,” the news agency said

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