Football: What if Italy or Ukraine recover Iran’s place at the 2022 World Cup?
SoccerWhat if Italy or Ukraine recover Iran’s place at the 2022 World Cup?
While Tehran is supplying kamikaze missiles to Moscow against Ukraine, the director of Shakhtar Donetsk and the Italian ambassador to the United Nations question Iran’s participation in the next World Cup.
The general manager of Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk on Monday called on FIFA to replace Iran with Ukraine for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18), as kyiv accuses Tehran of deliver drones to Moscow to support his invasion. « While Iranian leaders will have fun watching their national team play at the World Cup, Ukrainians will be killed by Iranian drones and Iranian missiles, » Serguiy Palkine lashed out in a statement posted on social media.
For several weeks, kyiv has accused Tehran of having delivered Shahed 136 suicide drones to Moscow, which then uses them to target energy infrastructures in particular, which Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied. « Each of (those drones) was produced and delivered by the Iranian authorities, Iranian instructors and the army directly trained and managed the drone launches”, further denounced Mr. Palkine. « Shakhtar calls on FIFA and the entire international community to immediately ban the Iranian national team from playing at the World Cup following the country’s direct involvement in terrorist attacks against Ukrainians, » he said. asked Mr. Palkine on Monday.
For the leader, FIFA should replace Iran with the Ukrainian « Zbirna », « which has proven that it deserves to participate in the World Cup », « playing with his heart » according to him during the play-offs for accession to the World Cup, at the beginning June. The Ukrainian selection, led by Oleksandr Zinchenko and Andriy Yarmolenko, beat Scotland 3-1 in Glasgow, before losing in the final of these play-offs against Wales (0-1), despite immense momentum international sympathy.
The World Cup regulations leave FIFA the possibility of replacing one national team with another, in particular in the event of the withdrawal of a participating nation, but does not specify the criteria used to designate the drafted team. Replacing Iran with Ukraine for political reasons would be “a historically and sportingly justified decision,” Palkine said on Monday, calling on world football leaders not to “repeat the mistakes of the 2018 World Cup. in Russia ».
Ukraine is not the only nation to claim Iran’s place at the World Cup. Italy too, through its ambassador to the United Nations, Paolo Zampolli. The latter sent a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. « Once again, the world expects you to take prominent action to disqualify Iran from the World Cup, » he wrote. In the corridors of the United Nations and Washington, there is real concern.”
Paolo Zampolli’s concern relates to the repression of the police, following the death of the young Mahsa Amini (22), which triggered a wave of demonstrations in Iran. “Many Iranians have been killed, injured and arrested […]. FIFA remains silent on this subject”, he laments, before imploring the draft of the Squadra Azzurra, eliminated at the gates of the World Cup after its defeat against North Macedonia at the end of March (0-1): « I dream and I am confident of seeing Italy play against England at the World Cup, after the disqualification of Iran. From what I understand, Italy is the first nation in the FIFA rankings among the non-qualified.