The French NGO Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM, or “Together Against the Death Penalty”) has demanded sanctions against Iranian soccer in response to the country’s policy of carrying out public executions in stadiums.
FIFA, the body governing the sport internationally, released a statement following ECPM’s call which condemned execution in stadiums as “contrary to essential human dignity.” The organization vowed to raise the issue with officials from Iran’s national soccer federation.
On Tuesday, January 10, the French website SOfoot published a report entitled “Stadiums of Death” detailing public executions in Iranian sports facilities. The author of the report stated that FIFA has recently added a human rights section to its charter. The article makes mention of a September 22, 2016 execution in Nay Riz, Fars Province, conducted before a crowd. Following the execution, ECPM director Raphael Chenuil-Hazan addressed a letter to FIFA stating that “FIFA cannot say this matter is irrelevant to them. If I were an athlete, there’s no chance I’d be able to play in a place where a human being had been hanged.”
Chenuil-Hazan continued: “We’re happy that Article 3 of FIFA’s charter empowers them to take action and that FIFA has promised to have a conversation with the Iranian Soccer Federation. We’re waiting for FIFA to approve real sanctions against Iran, like a ban from international competition.”
Meanwhile, Hedayat Mombini the ex league referee and a member of the executive committee of FFIRI in a statement to ISNA , confirmed that his federation has received a letter from FIFA on the subject of Executions in football stadiums.
While Mombini said that this incident refers to a 3 years old execution in a small provincial town, he admitted that such act was carried out due to ignorance of international laws and lack of awareness by the local authority. “Football stadiums is a place for sport and its sanctity should be maintained. Such acts should never happen in our stadiums , else we will face sanctions and could be thrown out of international football competitions.”