Merkel sceptical of calls for Iran World Cup expulsion

German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains sceptical of calls for Iran to be thrown out of this summer's soccer World Cup, which her country will host, her spokesman indicated today.

The idea of expelling Iran from the tournament has been raised over recent weeks by several members of the European parliament.

The calls emerged after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Nazi Holocaust as a “myth” and his country resumed nuclear activities.

Spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm noted that, in a recent newspaper interview, Merkel said that "she personally doesn't think so much of such a measure, of shutting out the Iranian team, because that would punish people, sports fans and sportsmen, for the behaviour of a government".

Merkel also noted that any such decision would in any case be a matter for sports organisations and not for the host country, Wilhelm said.

"Merkel stands by the view that Ahmadinejad's statements are in every way unacceptable," Wilhelm said.

"This evaluation of President Ahmadinejad's comments does not also apply to the Iranian team's participation in the soccer World Cup."


Related Articles

Iran gives green light to Opec oil output cut plan

At least two dead in Iran suicide car bomb attack

Iranian president warns of ‘war situation’ as US reimposes sanctions

Iran president puts country on war footing as US sanctions take effect

More in this Section

Stars team up with Grenfell survivors to launch new campaign

US Senate backs resolution blaming Saudi crown prince for writer’s death

May delays Commons Brexit showdown until after Christmas

Cardinal denies covering up actions of sex abuse claim priest who was son of 'Lord of the Rings' author


Lifestyle

Vintage View: The world’s most iconic and influential mouse

Wish List: Classy place-setting to cute snowmen to get through the shortest days

First he conquered Broadway, now The Boss takes on Netflix

There are a few things Daniel O'Donnell doesn't like and cars with CD players is one of them

More From The Irish Examiner