Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter who was cleared of extortion, fraud and mismanagement in July 2022, has made a serious statement against the Iran’s national football team. Blatter figures Iran should be banished from the impending World Cup in Qatar, a Swiss paper and online news site cited him as saying Friday November 11.
The remarks come in the midst of cross country protests that have grasped Iran for quite a long time, following the passing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police.
Blatter was asked by a reporter:
“If you were still FIFA president today would you let Iran – which is currently killing young women in the streets, which is sending weapons to Russia to attack Ukraine – play in the World Cup?”
“No,” Blatter responded, adding that he believes the current FIFA President Gianni Infantino lacks courage to take a clear stance on Iran.
“He’s already having trouble creating a fund together with the Qataris – for all the workers who died in the construction of the infrastructure.
“I think it should be done by someone from FIFA who has courage. But Infantino doesn’t even have the courage to give journalists an answer.”
FIFA has since not remarked on Blatter’s suggestion that Iran ought to be banned from the 2022 World Cup and his perspectives on Infantino.
Blatter’s comments come weeks after a law firm sent a letter to FIFA on behalf of a group of former and current Iranian sports figures urging soccer’s governing body to suspend the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) and ban it from participating at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The letter says the actions of Iran’s football federation violate FIFA statues and regulations.
“Iran’s brutality and belligerence towards its own people has reached a tipping point, demanding an unequivocal and firm disassociation from the footballing and sports world,” a press release issued alongside the letter reads. Other athletes in Iran have joined in the protests.
After scoring a goal in the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup final, Saeed Piramoon imitated cutting his hair – a move signaling support for nationwide protests in the country by calling for greater freedoms for women – an act that Iran’s football authorities have vowed to deal with.
As indicated by the former FIFA President, Qatar World Cup ‘is a mix-up’ adding that the decision was terrible. Qatar is excessively a little country. Football and the World Cup are too huge for it.
Meanwhile, soccer player Sardar Azmoun risks missing out on being selected for the World Cup after criticizing the government.
“That is worth sacrificing for one strand of Iranian women’s hair,” Azmoun wrote in an Instagram story. “Shame on you who kill people so easily. Long live Iranian women.”
The World Cup starts on November 20 with Iran starting its campaign against England on November 21.
Iran is in Group B along with England, USA and Wales.