The Asian Football Confederation has warned Iran they could face sanctions ahead of January’s Asian Cup over government interference in their national football association.

It follows the Iranian parliament passing a law barring the employment of retirees in government, state or public institutions which use state funds or facilities.

Local media reported that the law applied to the current president of the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) Mahdi Taj and a number of other board members.

The AFC said in a statement issued late Tuesday that they were “closely monitoring the current issues” and that the FFIRI stressed that it was a non-governmental organisation.

“All Member Associations must fulfil their duties without any third party interference either from the Government or the Parliament,” said the statement.

“The AFC has a zero tolerance policy towards any third party interference in their Member Associations and hopes that, with less than two months to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the FFIRI can maintain its independence and avoid any sanctions.”