A group that has campaigned for the past decade to allow women to attend soccer games in Iran called on soccer’s world governing authority to kick Iran out of the World Cup finals taking place in Qatar in November.
Open Stadiums said that Iran should not be allowed to participate in the tournament due to its treatment of women, Reuters reported.
The organization sent a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Thursday noting that Iranian officials continues to deny female soccer fans the right to attend games in Iran, and blamed the Iranian FA soccer body for going along with the ban.
"The Iranian FA 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," Open Stadiums wrote.
"That is why, as Iranian [soccer] 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.”
The letter questioned how FIFA could let Iran use the World Cup as an opportunity to showcase itself internationally.
"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? Where are the principles of FIFA's statues in this regard?”
Open Stadiums added that Iran should be expelled from the World Cup based on Article 3 (non-discrimination and stance against racism) and Article 4 (promoting friendly relations) of FIFA’s statutes.
In March, female fans were not allowed to attend Iran’s World Cup qualifier against Lebanon in Mashad. A video from the match showed women protesting outside the stadium being pepper sprayed.
Iran has participated in six World Cup finals.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)