Iran has called on FIFA, the world’s football governing body, to suspend Israel’s football federation over the ongoing war in Gaza.
This request comes in the context of a broader push from Middle Eastern countries to hold Israel accountable for its military actions in the region.
Iran’s football federation announced on February 10, 2024, that it has requested FIFA to “completely suspend” Israel’s football federation “from all activities related to football.”
The Iranian authorities cited the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza as the primary reason for this request.
The war in Gaza began on October 7, 2023, with an unprecedented attack by Hamas militants against Israel, resulting in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
In response, Israel launched air strikes and a ground offensive that have killed at least 27,947 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
The Iranian authorities have hailed Hamas’s October 7 attack as a “success” but have denied any direct involvement.
The Islamic Republic does not recognize Israel, its sworn enemy, and prohibits all contact between Iranian and Israeli athletes.
A group of Middle Eastern football associations, including Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, have also “asked world football chiefs to ban Israel over the war on Hamas in Gaza,” according to a report by Sky News.
Iran’s call for FIFA to suspend Israel’s football federation over the war in Gaza reflects a broader effort by Middle Eastern countries to hold Israel accountable for its military actions in the region.
The request also highlights the deep-seated political tensions between Iran and Israel, which have long been at odds over a variety of issues.
As the situation in Gaza continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how FIFA will respond to the request from Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.
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