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.
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?