Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has called on FIFA to remove Iran from the World Cup, due to the country's involvement in Russia's war on Ukraine ©Getty Images

The chief executive of Shakhtar Donetsk Sergei Palkin has called on FIFA to remove Iran from this year’s World Cup, saying they should be replaced with Ukraine.

Palkin made the plea in response to reports that Iran is supplying Russia with weapons to attack Ukraine.

"While the Iranian leadership will have fun watching their national team play at the World Cup, Ukrainians will be killed by Iranian drones and Iranian missiles," Palkin wrote in a statement published on Shakhtar Donetsk’s social media accounts.

"Almost 250 such drones have already attacked peaceful cities of Ukraine. Each of them was produced and delivered by the Iranian authorities, Iranian instructors and the military directly trained and managed the launching of drones that destroyed homes, museums, universities, offices, sports grounds and playgrounds, and, most importantly, killed Ukrainians including children.

"Children who also dreamed of seeing their national team at the World Cup.

"Shakhtar Football Club calls on FIFA and the entire international community to immediately ban Iran’s national team from playing at the World Cup for the country’s direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians.

"This will be a fair decision that should draw the attention of the whole world to a regime that kills its best people and helps kill Ukrainians.

"The vacant place should be taken by the national team of Ukraine, which proved that it is worthy of participation in the World Cup.

"With unequal conditions with other national teams during the playoffs, they played with their heart.

"This decision is historically and sportingly justified. I urge everyone to join the pressure on the footballing bureaucracy."

Ukraine lost at the last hurdle of European qualifying for the World Cup, after they were beaten 1-0 by Wales in a playoff final.

A separate letter has also been sent to FIFA, from Spanish law firm Ruiz-Herta and Crespo, and an unnamed group of Iranian sporting personalities, calling on the governing body to ban Iran from the FIFA World Cup, because it does not allow women to enter stadia in the country.

The letter claims that this move breaches FIFA’s values and statutes.

The FIFA World Cup is due to be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, with Iran drawn in Group B alongside England, Wales and the United States.