Campaigners have asked FIFA to exclude Iran from the World Cup in Qatar over its suppression of women.
Iran, which are in the same group as England and Wales in Qatar, has seen a flurry of protests following the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody of ethics for wearing too little of her hijab.
At least 83 people have been killed for demonstrating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.
The call for Iran to be expelled from the World Cup came a month after women were allowed to participate in a home match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium for the first time in more than 40 years.
But Open Stadium, a movement of Iranian women demanding women participate in football matches, has written to FIFA President Gianni Infantino to express their doubts that stadiums will remain open.
The statement read: “Iranian women trust neither the authorities of the Islamic Republic nor the Iranian Football Federation that Azadi Stadium will remain open to them after the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“Why would FIFA give a global platform to the Iranian state and its representatives, while it not only refuses to respect basic human rights and dignity, but is currently torturing and killing its own people? Therefore, we ask FIFA to issue Article 3 and ask on grounds of 4. Its statute, to immediately take Iran out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”
The letter also accused Infantino of “blank words” because women are still “out of our ‘beautiful game’ and systematically repressed when we try to enter stadiums in Iran”.
The call for Iran’s expulsion from the World Cup was echoed by ‘United for Navid’, a group of exiled Iranian athletes and activists.
“FIFA has banned Russia from participating in international competitions because of its invasion of Ukraine and human rights violations,” the statement said.
“We respect the stance that FIFA has taken and that it will not tolerate the senseless killing and torture of thousands of innocent civilians. We Iranian athletes ask that you apply this to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“Iran is brutally beating and torturing protesters and oppressing women by watching football or showing certain hair strands. FIFA’s silence is an endorsement of these human rights violations.”
Both groups reminded FIFA of the case of Sahar Khodayari, who in 2019 was sentenced to prison for attempting to enter a football match as a man and later died after setting himself on fire at a protest .
“We hope you haven’t forgotten our Blue Girl, Sahar Khodayari yet,” the letter from United for Navid read.
“Do you remember Sahar Khodayari, aka ‘Blue Girl’? She was also brought to Votara custody and faced jail before she died by suicide.”
Khodayari, 30, became known on social media as “The Blue Girl” for the colors of her favorite team, Esteghlal.
sky sports news FIFA has been contacted for comment.