Should FIFA ban Iran?

Some have responded on various soccer fora to my blog post, Iran Bans Women From Watching Asian Cup in Movie Theaters, saying FIFA should ban or sanction Iran. Its an interesting proposition. Sanctions haven't swayed Iran on the nuclear issue but soccer is a much more emotive, passionate matter in Iran. And as mentioned in my post, Iran Coach Calls For Politics-free Soccer, the Iranian regime is extremely sensitive to soccer-sparked anti-government protests.

Comments

  1. At least they have movie theaters. In Saudi Arabia there is no such thing! If you are going to ban a country for a lack of women's rights it should be Saudi Arabia.

    The only time FIFA banned a country for its political actions was for the Apartheid practiced in South Africa. The only country you could make a case for banning on those lines is Israel.

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  2. Thanks for your comment. Saudi Arabia has indeed huge issues when it come to women's soccer. It recently launched an investigation into matches played by women's team in a school.

    Having said that things are changing in Saudi cinema. It actually produces a number of films that are shown in kingdom and has launched the Rotana television network. The driving force behind this is Sheikh Waleed bin Talal, a bit of a reformer.

    FIFA has suspended in the past Middle Eastern federations, including Iran, to impose its will. The federations currently threatened with a ban is Iraq. These suspensions relate mostly to alleged government interference and are a farce because the solution accepted by FIFA never diminishes government control and manipulation.

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