Iran appealed to FIFA to ban Israel from Football

 Iran has formally appealed to FIFA, urging the suspension of the Israel Football Association due to Israel's military operation in Gaza. The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) released a statement on their website, calling for a complete suspension of the Israel Football Association from all football-related activities. They requested FIFA to take immediate and serious measures to address what they termed as Israel's "crimes" in Gaza.

In addition to the suspension, FFIRI requested that FIFA and its 211 member associations provide humanitarian assistance, including food, water, medicine, and medical supplies, to the civilians affected in Gaza. The hostilities in Gaza began on October 7th, triggered by a major rocket attack from the militant group Hamas on Israel. The conflict has resulted in approximately 1,160 deaths, with the majority being Palestinian civilians, according to AFP tallies based on Israeli figures.

Israel responded with an extensive bombing campaign and ground invasion aimed at diminishing Hamas's capabilities. Gaza's Health Ministry, controlled by Hamas, claims that at least 27,947 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, have been killed so far. Iran, a supporter of Hamas, denies direct military involvement in the conflict and does not recognize Israel, prohibiting any contact between Iranian and Israeli athletes.

In the past, Iran has demonstrated its stance by imposing a lifetime ban on weightlifter Mostafa Rajaei for shaking hands with an Israeli competitor. The head weightlifting coach was also dismissed. Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei advised athletes to avoid friendly gestures, such as handshake photos, with representatives of the Israeli regime.

Reports suggest that a coalition of Middle East football associations, including Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE, has also lobbied FIFA to issue a ban on Israel over the Gaza attacks.


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