FIFA has insisted it has no intention of banning Iran from the 2006 World Cup finals – declaring sport and politics must not become entwined.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad created outrage recently when he suggested that the Holocaust was “a myth” and several German politicians called for FIFA to expel Iran from next year’s World Cup.

Wolfgang Overath, president of Bundesliga side Koln, backed sanctions but FIFA believes sport and politics should not mix.

“You need to keep politics and sport strictly apart,” FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren told sports agency SID.

“This is concerned with comments from a politician that the international community must respond to.

“Iran have qualified for the finals and the Iranian Football Federation has not done anything wrong.”

Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine