Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)iStock

Iran's soccer federation said on Saturday it has asked FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, to suspend Israel's due to its war in Gaza, AFP reported.

In an announcement posted on its website, Iran asked FIFA to "completely suspend" the Israeli federation "from all activities related to soccer".

The request also asks for "immediate and serious measures" by FIFA and its member associations "to prevent the continuation" of the Israeli "crimes and provide food, drinking water, medicinal and medical supplies to innocent people and civilians".

Iran, which does not recognize Israel, has a longstanding policy of boycotting events featuring Israelis.

In 2012, Iranian athletes announced their intention to boycott competitions against Israelis at the London Olympics.

In 2017, two Iranian players were criticized in their home country after they appeared for their Greek club Panionios in a Europa League qualifier against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The two were initially banned for life from the Iranian national team as a punishment, but Iran appeared to cancel the ban after a huge outcry from soccer fans on social media and the launch of an investigation by FIFA, which has rules against political interference in national teams.

In 2019, Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei was forced to throw a match against Israelis, even after the International Judo Federation (IJF) and Iran reached an agreement which stipulates that Iran will no longer boycott competitions against Israelis.

Following the incident, the IJF imposed a four-year ban from international events on Iran.

The Iranian authorities last August gave a lifetime ban to Mostafa Rajaei, a weightlifter, after he shook hands with an Israeli competitor at an event in Poland, state media reported at the time.