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Fifa asked to ban Iran from 2022 World Cup

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Football’s world governing Fifa has been called on to ban Iran from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

A group of Iranian football and sports personalities have sent a formal request to the body asking for it to suspend the Iranian Football Association.

They claim government intervention – by stopping women entering stadia in Iran – contravenes Fifa rules.

“Neutrality from Fifa is not an option,” the group said.

It comes amid a violent crackdown by the country’s security forces against widespread anti-government protests.

The request also follows a similar call from human rights group Open Stadiums last month.

“Iran’s brutality and belligerence towards its own people has reached a tipping point, demanding an unequivocal and firm disassociation from the footballing and sports world,” the group said.

“Women have been consistently denied access to stadia across the country and systematically excluded from the football ecosystem in Iran, which sharply contrasts with Fifa’s values and statutes.

“If women are not allowed into stadia across the country, and the Iranian Football Federation is simply following and enforcing governmental guidelines, they cannot be seen as an independent organisation and free from any form or kind of influence. This is a violation of (Article 19) of Fifa’s statutes.”

While no official ban on women entering sports grounds where men are playing is in place in Iran, they are frequently denied entry.

Earlier this year, Fifa wrote to authorities requesting they permit more women into stadiums, and some women were allowed to attend selected matches in Iran’s Persian Gulf Pro League.

The group – supported by a Spanish law firm – say other nations have been suspended in the past for similar violations.

“The Fifa Council can and must immediately suspend Iran,” they add.

“Fifa shouldn’t allow participation by a country that is actively persecuting its women, athletes and children only for their exercising their most basic human rights.”

-BBC

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Former Minister Ronnie de Mel no more

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Former Minister – Ronnie de Mel has passed away today (27) while being treated at a private hospital, reports say.

He was aged 99 years old.A former civil servant, he was the Minister of Finance from 1977 – 1988 under the United National Party government and holds the record for the largest number of budgets presented by a finance minister.

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NPP to also back NCM against Speaker

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The National People’s Party (NPP) has also decided to back the No Confidence Motion against Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kieirella, Professor G. L. Peiris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody, Shan Wijayalal de Silva, and others have signed the motion on behalf of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and Samagi Jana Alliance.

Meanwhile, Dullas Alahapperuma, the leader of the Freedom People’s Congress has also said that they would back the NCM.

Yesterday (26), the Uttara Lanka Sabhagaya had stated they would back the motion as well. 

The motion cites several reasons, including the Speaker’s failure to appropriately present the amendments proposed by the Supreme Court for the Online Safety Bill before its passage. 

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Muthukumarana to take up Uddika Premarathne’s MP seat

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S.C. Muthukumarana is set to be named to the Parliamentary seat  left vacant after the resignation of Anuradhapura District MP – Uddika Premarathne.

It is reported that the Secretary General of Parliament – Mrs. Kushani Rohanadheera has informed of this to the Election Commission, in accordance with Section 64(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act No. 1 of 1981.

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Uddika Premarathne resigns as MP

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