Sydney: Iran`s protest that Iraq fielded an ineligible player in their stormy Asian Cup quarter-final loss was rejected on Sunday, an Iranian official told AFP.
Houshang Moghaddas, head of the Iranian delegation, said the appeal was turned down by the Asian Football Confederation`s disciplinary committee.
"It`s rejected, they said this player can carry on and play," Moghaddas said after lengthy talks in Sydney. "Iraq tomorrow can play ... tomorrow morning we fly (home)," he added.
Iran had complained that Iraqi midfielder Alaa Abdulzehra was ineligible because he failed a drugs test while playing for an Iranian club last year.
Iraq, the 2007 champions, won Friday`s combustible match on penalties to reach Monday`s semi-final against South Korea.