Rights group calls on FIFA to kick Iran out of World Cup
'Why would FIFA give the Iranian state a global stage while it refuses to respect basic human rights?'
The Open Stadiums rights group called on FIFA to throw Iran out of the World Cup in Qatar scheduled for November due to the Islamic Republic’s treatment of women.
In a letter sent to FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Thursday, the group said Iranian authorities are refusing to allow female fans access to games inside the country despite pressure from soccer’s governing body.
"The Iranian [Football Association] is not only an accomplice of the crimes of the regime. It is a direct threat to the security of female fans in Iran and wherever our national team plays in the world. [Soccer] should be a safe space for us all," the letter said.
"That is why, as Iranian football fans, it is with an extremely heavy heart that we have to raise our deepest concern about Iran's participation in the upcoming FIFA World Cup,” it continued.
"Why would FIFA give the Iranian state and its representatives a global stage, while it not only refuses to respect basic human rights and dignities, but is currently torturing and killing its own people?”
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The call came as protests continued in several cities across Iran against the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody, as human rights groups estimate at least 83 people were killed in nearly two weeks of demonstrations.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi described the unrest as the latest in a series of moves against his country by hostile Western powers since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Open Stadiums have campaigned over the last decade for women to be allowed to attend football matches in Iran, but with only limited success.
Iran is due to appear at their sixth World Cup finals and would face England, Wales, and the United States.