CBSSports - FIFA have received a letter demanding that Iran be kicked out of this winter's World Cup due to the country's "brutality and belligerence towards its own people." Team Melli is alongside the United States as well as England and Wales with their opening fixture scheduled to be against the Three Lions at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan on Nov. 21.
However, because of the current political situation in Iran which has been termed "deeply unpalatable" for women and "not a safe space for even men," pressure is growing on soccer's global governing body to act. Calls have existed for months to exclude the Iranian team based upon current brutal events and the death of Mahsa Amini after detention by the country's morality police after the 22-year-old did not wear a headscarf correctly.
Protests are rife and upwards of 200 people have died since the start of the current political upheaval. Numerous Iranian soccer players and sportsmen and women have requested that FIFA remove Iran immediately and cited through a statement released via Spanish law firm Ruiz-Huerta and Crespo that the country's "brutality and belligerence towards its own people has reached a tipping point."
The statement also pointedly claims that women have been "systematically excluded from the football ecosystem" within the country.
"Demanding an unequivocal and firm disassociation from the footballing and sports world," the statement read.
"FIFA's historical abstinence from political quagmires has often only been tolerated when those situations do not metastasize into the footballing sphere. Football, which should be a safe place for everyone, is not a safe space for women or even men.
"Women have been consistently denied access to stadia across the country and systematically excluded from the football ecosystem in Iran, which sharply contrasts with FIFA's values and statutes."
Per FIFA rules, any nation's soccer authorities cannot be run by that country's government and no minorities should be excluded from attending games which is written into the body's values and statutes. With that said, FIFA now must decide whether Iran is in violation of those values and statutes on the eve of the World Cup.
Iran are due to be the USMNT's third and final Group B opponents with that clash slated for November 29 at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.