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Ahmadinejad and Iran's World Cup Campaign
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Ali Karimi, formerly of Bayern Munich and one of Asia's top players, was suspended from the Iranian national team in mid-May after criticizing the Iranian Football Federation (IFF). With the team struggling to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, however, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a big soccer fan in addition to being a global firebrand, intervened and got the IFF to lift the suspension.