Shakhtar Donetsk chief calls for England's opponents Iran to be kicked out of World Cup and replaced by Ukraine | The Sun

IRAN should be booted from the World Cup and replaced by Ukraine, claims Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Sergei Palkin.

The Middle Eastern country are set to kick off their campaign against Group B rivals England on November 21, before taking on Wales and the United States.

Palkin, however, is leading calls for them to be removed from the competition, after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused them of supplying drones to Russia.

A statement from Palkin read: "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 mundial.

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"With unequal conditions with other national teams during the play-offs, they played with their heart.

"This decision is historically and sportingly justified. I urge everyone to join the pressure on the football bureaucracy.

"It is enough to repeat the mistakes of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, hiding behind the empty thesis about the apolitically of sports.

"Facilitating the participation of terrorists in the World Cup is politics. It’s time to put an end to such a policy."

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Ukraine were beaten by Wales in their World Cup qualifying play-off earlier this year.

Zelensky, 44, revealed that seven Russian drones shot down in Ukraine were supplied by Iran.

He responded by stripping Iran's ambassador to Ukraine of his acceditation.

Iran have also been accused of sending personnel to Crimea to assist with the deadly bombardment of Ukraine’s towns and cities with kamikaze drones.

Campaigners have also intensified calls to ban Iran after more than 200 protesters were killed in a crackdown by the country's religious morality police.

Iran has been rocked by an uprising triggered when a student died in police custody after she was held for not wearing her headscarf correctly.

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