The CEO of one of Ukraine’s best football teams has come out publicly to urge football’s governing body, FIFA to remove Iran from the coming event over alleged military support of the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Shakhtar CEO, Sergei Palkin suggested in a statement that his country’s team play in Qatar instead since Iran, he alleges, is in “direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians.”
“Shakhtar Football Club calls on FIFA and the entire international community to immediately ban Iran’s national team from playing at the World Cup for the country’s direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians,” Palkin said in the statement.
“The vacant place should be taken by the national team of Ukraine, which proved that it is worthy of participation in the Mundial. With unequal conditions with other national teams during the playoffs, they played with their heart.”
In addition to the call to action from Palkin, MARCA also reports that FIFA has also received calls from Iranian women’s rights groups, who want the national team suspended from the world event because Iran refuses to grant women access to live sporting events.
The Ukrainian national soccer team was knocked out of World Cup contention last spring by Wales. The Welsh side is slated to face Iran within the first few games of the tournament.