IRNA- A top Iranian sports official says the Islamic Republic has registered a formal protest with FIFA over the bodys recent decision to impose a fine of thousands of dollars on the Iranian football federation for several religious manifestations during a game last month.
Ali Kaffashian, the vice-president of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), told reporters on Saturday that FFIRI had formally protested to FIFA over its penalty of 46,200 dollars for the religious manifestations during a 2018 World Cup qualifier game between Iran and South Korea at Tehrans Azadi Stadium on October 11.
We have clarified in our protest that the Iranian spectators actions during the match were all out of their religious and cultural beliefs, and not against FIFA Statutes. We have not paid the fine yet, waiting to see where our protest leads to, Kaffashian said.
On November 3, FIFA claimed in a statement that Irans soccer federation had asked fans to sing religious chants and wear black for the match between Team Melli and the Taeguk Warriors, which was held in a mournful atmosphere on Tasua, the eve of the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.
The statement said a religious ceremony was organized before the game and at halftime.
FIFA rules ban political, religious or commercial messages at international matches.
Irans professional forward Sardar Azmoun, who plays as a striker for FC Rostov in the Russian Premier League, scored the winner in the 25th minute of the match and chalked up the 1-0 victory over South Korea.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] The photo shows a view of the third round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification tournament Group A match between Iran (players in white) and South Korea at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran, on October 11, 2016.[/caption]
Commenting on the 2018 World Cup round three qualifying match between Iran and Uzbekistans White Wolves on June 13, 2017, Kaffashian said that efforts are underway to advance the contest.
The upcoming match falls on the eve of Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Destiny), which is believed to be the night when the first verses of the holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) some 14 centuries ago.
The event has double significance for Shia Muslims as the night of the 21st day of Ramadan also marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the first Shia Imam, Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH).