A law firm has sent a letter to FIFA on behalf of a group of former and current Iranian sports personalities urging the football governing body to suspend the Football Federation of Iran (FFIRI) and ban it from participating in this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
“Iran’s brutality and belligerence towards its own people has reached a tipping point, demanding an unequivocal and firm dissociation from the world of football and sport,” said a press release issued alongside the letter.
“FIFA’s historic abstinence from political quagmires has often only been tolerated when these situations do not metastasize into the sphere of football…Football, which should be a safe place for everyone, does not is not a safe space for women or even men.
“Women have always been denied access to stadiums across the country and systematically excluded from the football ecosystem in Iran, which stands in stark contrast to FIFA’s values and statutes.”
The letter states that the actions of the Iranian Football Federation violate FIFA statutes and regulations.
CNN has reached out to FIFA and FFIRI for comment.
In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being detained by the country’s vice squad for not wearing her hijab properly. Iranian authorities have since unleashed a brutal crackdown on protesters, who have united over a series of grievances with the country’s authoritarian regime.
The letter sent by the Spanish law firm Ruiz-Huerta and Crespo is signed, among others, by Mohammad Reza Faghani, referee licensed by FIFA, Vahid Sarlak, Asian judo champion and member of the Iranian national team, and Shiva Amini, former women’s national futsal team. Team player.
The World Cup runs from November 20 to December 18. Iran face England in their first game of football’s showpiece event on November 21, followed by a game against Wales on November 25. The nation is also set to face the United States in its third and final match of the group stage on November 29.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named four Iranian players and former players among those who signed the letter sent by Spanish law firm Ruiz-Huerta and Crespo.