Shaktar Donetsk's midfielder Pedrinho and General Director Sergey Palkin
FIFA 22 | Official Gameplay Trailer Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Image

Sergei Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk CEO, has requested FIFA to ban Iran from the 2022 World Cup this winter and permit Ukraine to participate in the tournament. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky recently stated that seven Iranian-made drones, provided to Russia, had been shot down in Ukraine.

As a result of the drone strikes, Ukraine downgraded diplomatic relations with Iran and stripped its diplomat of his accreditation. Ukraine and the U.S. accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia, while Iran insisted it had exercised a clear policy of active neutrality in the negotiations over the war in Ukraine, The Athletic reported.

Likewise, a group of Iranian sports personalities has penned a letter to FIFA asking that the nation is barred from the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to the treatment of women in the country. Even though there is no official ban on women entering sports venues, they are often forbidden entry.

"It will be a fair judgment that should attract the attention of the whole world to a government that destroys its finest people and permits killing Ukrainians, "Palkin said a day before his team played at Celtic in the Champions League, ESPN reported.

The White House voiced Thursday that the U.S. government has evidence indicating Iranian troops are directly engaged on the ground in Crimea. They are helping Russian drone attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure and civilian people. Similarly, Kyrylo Budanov, the leader of Ukraine's intelligence service, said Monday that Russian forces had utilized about 330 Iranian-built "Shahed" drones as of Saturday and that more had been ordered.

Iran plays in the second game of the World Cup, on Nov. 21 against England. It will then face Wales and the United States in Group B. Wales qualified by beating Ukraine in the playoffs in June in a game that was postponed from March due to the war.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nevertheless, if an Asian team got suspended, FIFA would not be able to substitute it with a European team at the World Cup.

Soccer's world body does not normally suspend associate federations because of military judgments by a national state. However, Yugoslavia was banned from trying to qualify for the 1994 World Cup after United Nations sanctions were set during the war in the Balkans, ABC News reported.

FIFA has discontinued Russian teams after it invaded Ukraine, which banned Russia from playing in the World Cup qualifying playoffs in March. FIFA noted risks to the safety and integrity of its competitions, and Russia’s planned opponent Poland had declined to play that game.

Igor Jovicevic, Manager of Shakhtar Donetsk
Igor Jovicevic, Manager of Shakhtar Donetsk, reacts after the final whistle of the UEFA Champions’ League group F match between Celtic FC and Shakhtar Donetsk at Celtic Park on October 25, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

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