Protests in Iran: Ex-national player Ghafouri arrested

Status: 11/24/2022 7:49 PM

Former international Ghafouri has been arrested for criticizing the Iranian government and insulting the national football team. He has been one of the critics of the Islamic system for years.

Former Iranian national footballer Voria Ghafouri has been arrested, according to the pro-government news agency Tasnim. The 35-year-old defender was charged with propaganda and insulting the national team, the Tasnim report said. No further details about the arrest were given.

The Football Association of Iran has not yet commented on the report. Ghafouri has been a longtime critic of Iran’s Islamic system, particularly in relation to the country’s discrimination against women. He was also sacked by his club Esteghlal Tehran last year for his public political statements, despite being hugely popular with the fans. He then moved to the southern Iranian club Foolad Khuzestan.

Protest against police brutality

Ghafouri was also not called up to the national team due to his political views, although he is still one of the best full-backs in the country. During the recent protests, Ghafouri clearly supported the protesters and repeatedly condemned the brutality of the police and security forces.

Boycott of the national anthem at the World Cup

Iran was scheduled to play against Wales at the World Cup on Friday. Before the Iranian national team’s first match in Qatar, the Iranian players refused to sing their country’s national anthem.

The protests in Iran stemmed from the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was arrested in September by the vice squad. They quickly expanded into nationwide demonstrations calling for the overthrow of religious leaders. The protests were particularly violent in the Kurdish region of western Iran and security forces brutally suppressed them.

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