The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has formally lodged a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) against the Iranian club Persepolis for their social media behaviour, Goal can confirm.
Persepolis is competing in the group stage of the 2021 AFC Champions League which is currently being hosted in Goa. They are clubbed alongside FC Goa, Al Wahda and Al Rayyan in Group E.
Ahead of the club's journey to India for their group fixtures, the club's social media handle put up a distasteful post which received plenty of attention for the wrong reasons. The post spoke about invading India and the battles from the past between the two countries to build up their visit to India and it was bashed widely for hurting the sentiments of people in India. The post has been deleted and the club has made an apology on social media.
"The AIFF wishes to denounce the improper conduct of Persepolis FC, the representative team from the Islamic Republic of Iran, before the ACL and more specifically before travelling to India. The Club put up certain posts on its official website and/or social media which has caused a massive uproar in the media and has hurt the sentiments of Indian people at large.
"The posts showed unjustified aggression against the AIFF and Indian people at large, which is totally outside of any sports ethics. While this rather poor behaviour clearly showcases their inability to participate in football events of such high calibre, AIFF strongly condemns it and requests that proper action is taken by the AFC against the Club," the Indian FA wrote in their letter to Asian football's apex body.Instagram/perspolis
The letter further stated that the post would be considered contemptuous, discriminatory, and/or denigratory since it clearly implies that the Club considers that an Indian invasion would be acceptable and a matter of pride.
The Indian football body, which argues that the club has breached Articles 50 and 58 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code, has requested the AFC to look into the matter and ensure such incidents do not take place again.
Indian club FC Goa took part in their first-ever ACL match on Wednesday and held Al Rayyan to a goalless draw. Persepolis, who are also in Group E, got off to a winning start with a 1-0 win against Al Wahda.