Members of the European Parliament are to send a letter to FIFA calling for Iran to be banned from the World Cup finals because of controversial remarks by the country’s president.
The letter will cite statements from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel and denying the Holocaust, as well as Iran’s refusal to renounce its nuclear activity.
FIFA has already said it has no intention of banning Iran’s team.
“We have cross-party support for this and we will now go back to our governments and opposition parties and send them a letter, asking them to back our call,” British Conservative Party MEP Chris Heaton-Harris told Reuters.
“We believe a precedent has been set in the past, in particular in cricket and rugby with South Africa and FIFA needs to do the same.”
Heaton-Harris said the letter to Blatter recommended that Bahrain, who finished runners-up to Iran in qualification, be given the Iranians’ place in the finals.
“This would also send the message that we are not against Muslims, but just against Iran and its policies,” the British politician said.
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