The Iranian diaspora athletic organization, United for Navid, over the past week sent letters to FIFA, the world’s governing body of soccer, and to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), urging the suspension of Iran’s regime from sports competition due to Tehran’s violent crackdown on athletes amid protests against the autocrat state.
United for Navid asked Mattias Grafström, the FIFA deputy secretary general, to boot Iran from international competition, including the upcoming November World Cup in Qatar.
“FIFA has banned Russia from participating in international competitions because of its invasion of Ukraine and its violation of human rights. We respect this stance that FIFA has taken and that it will not tolerate the senseless killing and torturing of thousands of innocent civilians. We Iranian athletes ask that you apply the same to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” wrote United for Navid.
The sports organization added “Iran is brutally killing and torturing protestors and is oppressing women by criminalizing watching football [soccer] or showing a few strands of hair. FIFA’s silence is an endorsement of these human rights violations.”