Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin calls for Ukraine to replace Iran at World Cup

In a statement released by Shakhtar Donetsk’s social media accounts, the CEO of the Ukraine club, Sergei Palkin, has asked that FIFA eject Iran from the World Cup and replace them with Ukraine amid reports that Iran are supplying Russia with weapons to attack Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. Palkin’s statement said:

‘While the Iranian leadership will have fun watching their national team play at the World Cup, Ukrainians will be killed by Iranian drones and Iranian missiles. Almost 250 such drones have already attacked peaceful cities of Ukraine. Each of them was produced and delivered by the Iranian authorities, Iranian instructors and the military directly trained and managed the launching of drones that destroyed homes, museums, universities, offices, sports grounds and playgrounds, and, most importantly, killed Ukrainians. Including children. Children who also dreamed of seeing their national team at the World Cup. Shakhtar Football Club calls on FIFA and the entire international community to immediately ban Iran’s national team from playing at the World Cup for the country’s direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians. This will be a fair decision that should draw the attention of the whole world to a regime that kills its best people and helps kill Ukrainians. The vacant place should be taken by the national team of Ukraine, which proved that it is worthy of participation in the World Cup. With unequal conditions with other national teams during the playoffs, they played with their heart. This decision is historically and sportingly justified. I urge everyone to join the pressure on the footballing bureaucracy. It is enough to repeat the mistakes of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, hiding behind the empty thesis about the apolitical nature of sports.’


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