Ukraine call FIFA to ban Iran from World Cup over alleged support of Russian invasion
Ukraine urge FIFA to ban Iran from the World Cup due to its alleged involvement in the invasion of Russia.
With claims of human rights abuses and arming the Russian military, the Ukrainian football organization petitioned FIFA to exclude Iran from the World Cup on Monday.
The call was made three weeks before Iran are due to face England in the first Group B game in Qatar. The group also includes the United States and Wales.
The Ukrainian federation’s executive committee did not ask for Iran to be replaced at the tournament by the Ukraine team who lost to Wales in a European playoff final in June.
The country’s best club, Shakhtar Donetsk, suggested this week that Ukraine take Iran’s place in a similar petition to FIFA.
FIFA has not responded to the Ukrainian petitions and usually does not suspend a member federation because of a national government’s military decisions.
Russia and Iran have both denied international intelligence assessments that Ukraine has been bombed by Russian forces using Iranian-built “Shahed” drones.
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FIFA’s legal statutes also make a commitment to “respecting all internationally recognized human rights” and striving to promote the protection of those rights.
However, FIFA did not invoke its human rights pledge when it suspended Russian teams from international competitions — including the World Cup playoffs — within days of the invasion of Ukraine starting in February.
Instead, FIFA cited risks to the security and integrity of its competitions, and the decision was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA has already resisted calls from Iranian fan groups to suspend the national team amid turmoil in the country since mid-September during a national crackdown on street protests in support of women’s rights.
Iranian footballers, including some national team members expected to be selected for the World Cup, have supported the protests on social media and in gestures at games, including wearing black wristbands and with subdued celebrations after scoring goals.