FIFA must exclude Iran from the World Cup for supporting Russia’s invasion: Ukraine – National team

UkraineIts top football club urged on Monday FIFA remove Iran from World Cup because of the country’s supposed military support for Russian invasion.

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin accused Iran of “direct participation in terrorist attacks against Ukrainians”, and suggested his country’s team should play in Qatar instead.

“This will be a fair decision that will draw the world’s attention to a regime that kills its best people and helps kill Ukrainians,” Palkin said in a statement a day before the team. his playing at Celtic in the Champions League.

The White House said on Thursday that the United States has evidence that Iran’s military “directly engaged in combat” in Crimea supports Russian drone strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and civilians.

And the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, said in an interview published Monday that Russian forces used about 330 Iranian-built “Shahed” drones on Wednesday. Seven – and more have been ordered.

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Russia and Iran both deny that the drones used are Iranian-made.

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Iran played in the second match of the World Cup, on 21 November against England, and then faced Wales and the United States in Group B. Wales qualified by beating Ukraine in the knockout stages in June in a match delayed from March by war.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, if an Asian team is suspended there will be no precedent for FIFA to replace it with a European team at the World Cup.

The world football body does not normally suspend member federations because of military decisions by national governments, although Yugoslavia was banned from trying to qualify for the 1994 World Cup following United Nations sanctions. used in the war in the Balkans.

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FIFA suspended Russia’s teams following the invasion of Ukraine, which banned Russia from the World Cup knockout stages in March. FIFA cited risks to the security and integrity of its competitions and Russia’s scheduled rival Poland refused to play that game.

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This month, FIFA is also resisting calls from Iranian fan groups to suspend the national team in its campaign to crack down on street protests in support of women’s rights and for its longstanding policy. prohibiting women from freely participating in football matches and other sports.

FIFA usually only suspends national teams when the government of that country is judged to have interfered with the independent running of the national football federation.

Five Asian alliance teams advance to the World Cup to join hosts Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates is the next best performer in qualifying. The UAE lost to Australia in the regional playoffs in June before the intercontinental playoffs.

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