Should FIFA kick Iran out of the World Cup? They should but they won’t….

Sports men and women from Iran have written to FIFA asking their national team to be kicked out of the World Cup, in support of their protest against their government.

I believe I have the responsibility to help promote the discussion, as a ban on mobile phone data, internet and free press is banned in the country.

So, in that part of the world, it’s hard to document how protestors are being treated, mostly young women fighting for the freedom of what they can and can’t wear.

By FIFA’s own rules, there are grounds to kick Iran out of the tournament. In their own words FIFA expect all registered associations to not discriminate.

Of course, there are rules designed to tick a PR box and then there are rules that If you wanted to, you could have a zero-tolerance attitude towards.

That Iran’s treatment towards females is being focused on a month before they kick off against England, shows that there is no kind of zero tolerance from those in charge of the game.

Those in power know that a nation taking part in their show piece event, ban people attending stadiums based on gender.

Remember that when they unveil their equality banners and slogans to appease sponsors.

In 2019, a woman was awaiting trial.

Her offence?

Attending a football match.

Sahar Khodayari would set herself on fire outside court, partly as a symbol, partly because she knew how she would be treated in jail.

When FIFA were pressured to look into if their own standards were being met, 3,500 tickets being sold to women, in a venue holding over 70,000, was enough to appease them.

Many called it a publicity stunt and when that game became the exception to the rule, FIFA turned the other cheek.

Like they ignore the strong-held believe that the Iranian FA is influenced by their government, another breach of FIFA’s own code of conduct.

They have known about their own rules being broken for years but have chosen to look the other way.

If FIFA cared about equality, we wouldn’t be about to showcase the sport’s biggest event in a country where being homosexuality is an offence when sentencing includes the death penalty.

Infidelity and pregnancy outside of marriage is against the law.

Females allowed to attend events do so only after permission from their husbands or father’s.

For the next month there will be propaganda to prove to the West that these values are being reformed.

It’s all part of the sportswashing policy that has seen the Middle East pay millions to bring global sport to their doorstep. Then with an audience watching, they can accentuate what ethos they want.

Heck, they got David Beckham telling the UK that Qatar are suitable hosts.

Iran have come under the spotlight after climber Elnaz Rakabi competed in South Korea without wearing a head scarf (mandatory in her country).

Sources have said that the 33 year old was tricked into entering Iran’s embassy in Seoul where she was pressured to issue an apology and fly to Tehran where since she’s been under house arrest.

FIFA are too far down the road to suddenly get an attack of morality.

How can they be expected to judge some participants on their human right laws but not others?

They could at least follow their own rules!

Key figures in Iran do not expect their request to be met. Again, it would have happened by now.

It’s estimated that over 32,000 Iran nationals live in Britain and protestors have asked any Iran males to give your ticket to a female.

Now it’s unlikely that anyone will give away a ticket that they paid hundreds for, but at the very least I hope to see females in the Iran end just for hope.

The fact Iran play England and then Wales means at least we can have a discussion which will force those in charge of the game to answer some awkward questions

I know this isn’t about Arsenal, but some things are bigger.

JustArsenal will be covering the World Cup.

Supposedly a joyous occasion where the world comes together to celebrate.

Just a shame to get to such a joyous occasion, so many have to go through heartbreak.

Should/Will FIFA kick out Iran?


Tags England FIFA Iran


  1. Fifa shouldn’t get involved because then we will get into situations at every competition – you could think up (often very good) reasons to justify excluding a lot of nations if you wanted – including Qatar(!) but also a lot of western nations, realistically.
    Imo the athletes themselves should pull out if they wish to protest. Understand it’s a dangerous situation, but so it is for everyone protesting in countries like Iran.
    (This is not intended as a criticism of the Iranian athletes, to be clear – I respect their desire to do something, and don’t know how I’d handle it myself.)

  2. Should Saudi Arabia and America be kicked out of the World Cup? Just like with the International Criminal Court, these rules only apply to countries that the West hates.

  3. Did Iran government interfere into Iran football federation affairs? Because it is only thing that would make FIFA kick Iran football team out of world cup. Otherwise you should leave politics out off this beautiful game that bound people worldwide

  4. I always say people shouldn’t mix football with politics. Iranian national football team have gone through a fair qualifying competition to get a World Cup ticket, so their exclusion will be unfair from sportsmanship point of view

    Unfortunately, there would likely some protest banners and symbols when they play. I think mixing big sports competitions with politics is just a part of human nature

  5. When I was younger, I used to believe that sport and politics should be separate.

    If politics hadn’t been pushed aside (in some cases) then some great sporting events would never have happened (such as the 1974 British Lions tour of S. Africa, which was banned due to apartheid, so they did it as an unofficial tour).

    But experience showed me that the world isn’t that simple. When you see the Russians cheating through doping, with testing labs set up and run by the Russian state you realise that for some countries sport is simply an opportunity for propaganda.

    Russia has been banned from athletics over this, and is now banned from pretty much all sporting competition for its invasion of Ukraine. Rightly so, in my view.

    Interestingly, in the context of this discussion, Belarus is also banned from many sports since it has been shown to be collaborating with Russia…

    Iran is also being shown to have collaborated with Russia, defying sanctions to supply drones. If Belarus can be banned from sport for that reason then so can Iran.

    There are lots of reasons Iran is – or might be – a pariah state, not only human rights violations but also development of nuclear weapons, sanctions issues, funding proxy wars through terrorist groups… any one will do as a means to an end (banning them from competition isolates the country and increases pressure on their government, whatever the reason for the ban).

    But I doubt that it will happen for this WC. If stunning clear-cut new evidence emerges then who knows… but I can’t see FIFA doing that unless the pressure on them is enormous.

    Banning Iran from future competition would be interesting, but by then the protests will either have effected regime change – so we’d be dealing with a different Iran – or they would have been suppressed (again) in which case it would have little short-term effect on Iran, in terms of social change.

    So in summary: yes they should be banned. In reality, they won’t be.

  6. Just pointing out guys , there Is a rule where FIFA exspect all members not to discriminate
    So women being not allowed to attend matches is a breach of their own rules

  7. An excellent, though deeply depressing to have to read, piece by DAN. Surely every properly evolved human in our common ONE race of ALL humans, will agree with DAN.

    For the second WC running, when it starts , I will be shunning and ignoring it completely(other than to speak out against it), just as all humans should also do, who care more about humans being treated humanely and kindly than they do about a mere sport, however popular that be.

    The plain and widely recognised truth is that FIFA itself is corrupt to its core and has no moral mandate to run even a whelk stall, let alone a WC tournament.

    I WILL NOT BE WATCHING ANY OF IT and I urge all right minded fans not to do so too!

  8. FIFA got involved in politics when they allowed Qatar to bid and then through later exposed corruption, gave the WC to Qatar;

    Europe now hates Russia and now its surrogates and allies and in the middle of civil unrest in Iran they find themselves a way to “get even” with Russia who took advantage of FIFA’s largess and now is going to the limit. If it was up to Europe (and perhaps the USA) Iran would be gone, but the Asian Football Conference, with Africa and maybe Concacaf have a say and may say “no” and let them stay. Is it enough? Stay tuned!

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors