Iran asks FIFA to ban Israel over war on Gaza

Iran asks FIFA to ban Israel over war on Gaza
Iran has previously penalised it's athletes for having contact with their Israeli counterparts during international competitions.
2 min read
10 February, 2024
Iran joins Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in calling for a ban on Israel [Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran's football federation said Saturday it has asked world football's governing body, FIFA, to suspend Israel's football federation over the country's war on Gaza.

In an announcement posted on the Iranian football federation's website, Iran asked FIFA to "completely suspend" the Israeli federation "from all activities related to football".

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".

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 27,947 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Iran has hailed Hamas's surprise 7 October attack on Israel as a "success" but has denied any direct involvement.

The Islamic republic does not recognise Israel, its sworn enemy, and prohibits all contact between Iranian and Israeli athletes.

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.

The Iranian weightlifting federation also dismissed the head of the delegation for the competition, Hamid Salehinia.

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In 2021, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged athletes "not to shake hands with a representative of the [Israeli] criminal regime to obtain a medal".

A group of Middle Eastern football associations, including Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, have also demanded that world football chiefs ban Israel over its war on Gaza," Sky News reported on Thursday.