Iraq's quarter-final win thrown into question after Iran claims ineligible player

Alaa Abdul-Zahra (C) in action for Iraq in the meeting with Japan. (Getty)

EXCLUSIVE: The AFC Asian Cup has been rocked by allegations that Iraq fielded an ineligible player in Friday's dramatic quarter-final win over Iran.

Sources have told TWG that the Iranian Football Federation has made a formal complaint to FIFA concerning the eligibility of Iraq midfielder Alaa Abdul Zahra.

The complaint stems from an alleged doping violating during the time Abdul Zahra spent last year playing with Iranian club side Tractor Sazi.

An AFC spokesperson confirmed to TWG that it is aware of the case and is awaiting further information from FIFA.

Iraq beat Iran on penalties after a 3-3 draw in Canberra on Friday to earn the right to face Korea Republic in the semi-finals in Sydney on Monday.

It's understood that the Iranian side has delayed its exit from Australia awaiting a response from the world governing body, which is expected on Saturday evening. 

Iran's National Anti-Doping Agency deputy Ramin Tabatabaei told news agency Tasnim that Abdul Zahra failed a drug test when he was playing in the country.

“I informed Mr Sajjadi (vice-president of Professional and Athletic Sports Development) when we understood Team Melli would play Iraq in the quarter-final,” Tabatabaei said.

Source: SBS