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Ali Karimi

Ali Karimi is having problems with the Iran Football Federation. The midfielder is still waiting to return to the national team, even though his ban has been lifted. The former Asian player of the year was banned from playing for Iran after strongly criticising the federation. “I was told that I could play again. But I still haven’t been approached about it. There must be some people blocking my return,” said Karimi, who was supposed to help Iran qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Even the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for the technically gifted player’s return. The 29-year-old midfielder played for German giants Bayern Munich between 2005 and 2007, before moving to a club in Qatar.