Iran has called on the International Association of Football Federations (FIFA) to ban Israel from international competitions over the war in Gaza, Iranian state media reported.
In a letter sent to FIFA, Iran’s Football Federation accused Israel of committing war crimes and killing civilians in Gaza, including football players, coaches and referees. The military operations in Gaza have annihilated “countless sport facilities” and football infrastructure, the letter further added.
Urging the full suspension of Israel’ football team, Iran’s Football Federation said such a “brilliant and enduring” move can pave the way for the cessation of Israel’s military campaign and the delivery of humanitarian aide to Gaza.
Israel already allows hundreds of trucks to deliver humanitarian assistance to Gaza daily.
Iran-backed Hamas invaded Israel's border regions on October 7 in what was the most deadly single day for Jews since the Holocaust. The Iranian government immediately praised the invasion and ordered street celebrations, with large banners erected within hours, suggesting Tehran had known in advance of the attacks which killed 1,200 mostly civilians and saw 240 taken hostage to Gaza.
Since then, Israel's relentless retaliation and the US support for its right to defend itself has led to Iranian proxy attacks on US interests. Though Iran has avoided any direct military involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the regime has used its proxy groups, such as Yemeni Houthis and Hezbollah, to attack Israeli and American targets in the region.