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SBD Global/May 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Iran Accuses United Arab Emirates Of Racism After Pro League Becomes Arabian Gulf League

A row has broken out between the football authorities of the UAE and Iran "after the announcement that the UAE Pro League will be renamed the Arabian Gulf League from next season," according to Mark Baber of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Pro League Committee Chair H.E. Mohammed Thani Murshed Al Romaithi announced at the conclusion of the Etisalat Pro League Awards that from the '13-14 season onward that "the UAE's professional football league will operate under the new name of The Arabian Gulf League." Al Romaithi explained that "the new name is in recognition of the Gulf being one of the country's most important resources for life." The Iranian authorities, whose premier league has been known as the Persian Gulf Cup since '06, "were unhappy with the new name." Iran Football Federation Legal Committee head Houshang Nasirzadeh said the country will soon file a complaint against the UAE for using a "fake name for Persian Gulf in the title of its soccer league." Nasirzadeh said the organization considers the UAE's desision to be "politically-tainted and racist" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/29).
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