In case the Iranian national team is sanctioned by FIFA, and can not attend the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Italy will most likely be selected instead.
Italy was eliminated by North Macedonia in the play-off semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in the European region. This means that the reigning Euro champion will be absent from the biggest tournament on the planet.
However, today (March 31), many famous Italian newspapers such as Sport Mediaset, Sky Sport (Italy), Sportitalia reported that Italy may be given a special chance to attend the 2022 World Cup in the case that Iran is eliminated.
Accordingly, Iran banned 2,000 women from entering the stadium to watch the 2-0 victory over Lebanon in the final round of the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in Asia. Although the Iranian women bought tickets. The Iranian police used pepper spray to suppress the protests of women.
This is not the first time Iran did that. In 2019, FIFA also warned Iran.
A member of the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran – Mehrdad Seradschi wrote on Twitter: “We are hearing worrying news from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).”
FIFA can give Iran the most severe punishment, which is to eliminate this country from the 2022 World Cup, despite Iran winning a place to go to Qatar (Iran tops Group A in Asia Region Qualifier).
If that happens, FIFA will replace Iran with a team that has the best record on the FIFA rankings without qualifying for the World Cup. At that time, Italy has a very high chance when they ranked 6th in the world.
However, according to Sport Mediaset, the possibility of Italy being given a special chance to go to Qatar is impossible:
“It is clear that Italy will be attractive to sponsors, but the possibility is impossible, looks like a sci-fi,” concluded Sport Mediaset.
In history, no country has ever been eliminated from the World Cup Finals after having officially qualified for the qualifying round. If Iran is eliminated, this will be an unprecedented precedent.
Italy is under a lot of pressure from domestic fans after losing tickets to the 2022 World Cup. However, Roberto Mancini is still committed to staying with the Italian team in future tournaments.
The defending European champions lost to North Macedonia 0-1 in the play-off semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Europe and missed the World Cup for the second time in a row.