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Iranians frustrated with their country’s regime are calling for Iran to be banned from participating in world sport.

The hashtag #BanIRSportsFederations has been used more than 60,000 times on Twitter in just 24 hours to call for a ban as a result of “state interference in sports”.

It follows two high-profile events – one in domestic football, the other in international judo – which social media users say highlight the sharp disparity between the Iranian regime and its people.

Some have rallied around a 29-year-old woman who set herself on fire outside a court in Tehran in protest at a prison sentence she had received for trying to enter a football stadium disguised as a man.

Iran’s government has not yet guaranteed that women can attend official football matches, despite being set a deadline of 31 August by Fifa to “pave the way” for female attendees.

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Masoud Shojaei, the captain of the Iran men’s football team, condemned the prison sentence in a Persian-language post on an Instagram story.

“Without a doubt the self-immolation of a girl today after the extension of her custody on the charge of trying to enter a stadium to watch football is rooted in outdated and cringe-worthy thoughts that will not be understood by future generations,” he wrote.


Many on social media have called for Fifa to punish the Iranian football federation as a result of the court case.

Protestors using the hashtag have said the Iran government “must be held to account”.

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