Iranian women given the boot
Associated Press May 9, 2006
TEHRAN Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided yesterday to reverse his decision to allow women to attend soccer matches.
Ahmadinejad backed down a month before the Iranian national team plays in the World Cup in Germany.
Ahmadinejad said he would let women attend soccer matches in a separate section of the stands to "improve soccer-watching manners, and promote a healthy atmosphere."
But Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who under the Islamic Republic's constitution has the final word, opposed the move.
Ahmadinejad's decision to allow women into stadiums had provoked outrage among the hardline Shiite Muslim clerics.
The Shiite Muslim clerics supported Ahmadinejad in the last election in 2005 and who have tightly controlled Iranian society since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Italian head honcho bows out
ROME Italian soccer federation president Franco Carraro resigned yesterday amid accusations his organization's officials conferred with Juventus to have referees assigned to the team's games.
"The duties of the federation in the coming months are so broad that they deserve a (president) completely capable of carrying out its functions," Carraro wrote in a letter, said ANSA news agency.
The Italian media has printed extensive excerpts of phone calls between Juventus and soccer officials in which match officials for Serie A and Champions League games were discussed.
On Friday, Carraro announced that a "rigorous" inquiry would take place.
UEFA said it had opened an inquiry into the case and had verbally reprimanded Italian refereeing official Pierluigi Pairetto for disclosing confidential information.
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