Global News

Iranian footballers issued with lifetime ban after playing against Israeli side

Iranian footballers issued with lifetime ban after playing against Israeli side

Iran captain Masoud Shojaei and midfielder Ehsan Haji Safi actively played for their Europa League team, Greece's Panionios, when it faced Maccabi Tel Aviv last week.

"It is certain that Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Haji Safi will never be invited to join the national football team because they violated the red line", state television quoted Davarzani as saying.

Iran believes any dealing with Israel, including facing its players in sports, means recognising the Jewish state and betraying the Palestinian cause. Instead, having agreed to play in the return, they were kicked out of their national team.

Alabama judge declares law criminalizing teacher-student sex unconstitutional
Furthermore, Thompson said that there was no proof Witt used her position of authority to force the two students to have sex. The cases were "dismissed without prejudice".

But Vali Nasr, a well-known Iran-born Middle East analyst and scholar, argued the Iranian players were actually bound contractually to play against the Israeli athletes as part of their engagement for the Greek team, and therefore should not be punished by Iran. "This is an illegitimate regime which we don't recognise", foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

Not surprisingly Iran's FA backed the government's position. Carlos Queiroz's side move on to 20 points at the top of the group after eight rounds of matches, eight points clear of third-place Uzbekistan, who are unable to catch the Iranians with their two remaining qualifiers in the group. The country has already qualified for next year's World Cup but the loss of two of its most experienced players is bound to reduce chances of success in Russian Federation.

On Wednesday, Iran's deputy sports minister, Mohammad Reza Davarzani, said in an interview with Mizan news agency, the mouthpiece of Iran's judiciary, that the players would no longer be allowed on the national soccer team. But unacceptable for their players to play against Israelis. Israel will not qualify for Russian Federation 2018, but either way, it seems Iranian politics is missing a logical beat.


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