Ahead of the Football World Cup, the Ukrainian Football Federation has asked FIFA to remove Iran from the championship for supplying drones and other weapons to Russia.
The New Arab reported that the call was made three weeks before Iran were to face England in their Group B opener in Qatar. This group also includes the United States and Wales.
The executive committee of the Ukrainian federation did not ask for Iran to be replaced at the tournament by the Ukrainian team that lost to Wales in the European playoff final in June.
The suggestion that Ukraine replace Iran was made last week by the country’s top club, Shakhtar Donetsk, in a similar appeal to FIFA.
Both Russia and Iran have denied international intelligence assessments that Russian forces bombed Ukraine using Iranian-made “Shaheed” drones.
FIFA’s bylaws also commit to “respecting all internationally recognized human rights” and striving to promote the protection of those rights.
However, FIFA did not invoke its human rights pledge when it suspended Russian teams from international competitions, instead, FIFA cited threats to the security and integrity of its competitions, and the decision was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA has already resisted calls from Iranian fan groups to suspend the national team amid unrest in the country.
Iranian football players, including some national team members expected to be selected for the World Cup, have supported the protest on social media and in-game gestures by wearing black wristbands at games and humble celebrations after scoring goals.