FOOTBALL supporters in Israel have called on World Cup organisers to ban an Iranian player — after he endorsed a Twitter post calling for the destruction of Israel.
Striker Mehdi Taremi, who is in currently in Russia with Iran, last year retweeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s post which said that the State of Israel would not last another 25 years.
Khamenei’s original tweet was in Hebrew, English and Persian.
It was tweeted last year, but it resurfaced at the weekend, with thousands of Twitter users calling FIFA to take action against Taremi, who plays for Al-Gharafa in Qatar, under the hashtag #BanTaremi.
Fans noted that hate speech is expressly forbidden in FIFA’s own bylaws.
Taremi has since deleted the tweet.
Israel Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon said: “For the sake of his team, it’s best if Taremi focused on soccer and not on echoing ugly and illegitimate calls against the State of Israel.”
Iran opened their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Morocco.
On Wednesday, they were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Spain. Taremi played in both matches.