Newcastle Jets have forced winger Ali Abbas to put his club before country after he was selected for Iran’s national team.
The 24-year old has been named in a 25-man squad for a friendly against Kuwait on November 17 and the Gulf tournament from November 22 to December 4 and Iran also wanted him for a five-day camp which kicked off today.
But the Jets will only release him for the Kuwait match which falls on a FIFA international break, meaning the club is obliged to let him go.
"We will happily adhere to the FIFA regulations but that is the extent of it," Jets chief executive John Tsatsimas said.
Jets coach Branko Culina added that the club were desperate to keep Abbas playing and did not want him missing up to five A-League games.
"It is obvious why we can't let him go," Culina said. "We have explained to him our situation and written to the Iraq FA expressing that."