Serhat TUNAR -TDO- The Asian Football Confederation has announced a ban on international football matches being held in Iran. The Confederation stated that Iranian teams could participate in matches in third countries.

Iran's Football Federation said it had received a letter from the Asian Football Confederation that international football matches were banned in the country. The cause of the decision was not clear.

A Ukrainian passenger plane was accidentally shot down in tensions between the United States and Iran last week, killing 176 people. The reason for the decision is thought to be this incident.

Amirmahdi Alavi, a spokesman for Iran's Football Federation, said his country was fully prepared to host international teams and had proven this many times before. Alavi added that the Sports Ministry had given all necessary safety guarantees.

Iran, which has four teams in the Asian Champions League, will meet with the Asian Football Confederation to appeal the decision.

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