CALLS to kick Iran out of the World Cup are growing after it deployed military experts to Ukraine to help Russian troops.
The strict Islamic state sent personnel to Crimea to assist with the deadly bombardment of Ukraine’s towns and cities with kamikaze drones.
The country is already under fire for killing more than 200 protesters including 23 children. They rose up over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, arrested for not wearing a headscarf correctly.
Campaigners also urged Fifa to act because of its ban on women attending football matches, imposed in 1979 by clerics who said that letting them watch men play in shorts “promotes promiscuity”.
Iran are due to face England on November 21 but a petition urging Fifa to kick them out has more than 22,000 signatures.
One campaigner said: “Iranians believe the team is not representing them but a regime which is hurting its own people and violating their rights.
“Fifa claims to ‘Strive to promote the protection of human rights’ — so start striving Fifa and protect us and our rights.
“Many countries have been banned from the World Cup before for the violation of human rights.
“It’s time the Iranian regime pays the price.”
This week it emerged Iranian IT experts were deployed to Crimea to help Russia operate the Shahed-136 drones which have blitzed power plants and residential areas.
The Iranian-made weapons destroyed almost a third of the country’s power stations and killed at least four people.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said: “We assess that Iranian military personnel were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations.
“Tehran is now directly engaged on the ground, and through the provision of weapons that are impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The US will pursue all means to expose, deter and confront Iran’s provision of these munitions against the Ukrainian people.”
The Iranian regime is facing its biggest threat since the 1979 revolution after weeks of violence since student Mahsa died.
Fifa kicked Russia out of their World Cup semi-final play-off in February after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
Fifa has been contacted for comment.
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