Former Iranian football star Ali Dei against regime: ‘What crime did these women commit?’

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Iranian football star Ali Dei has drawn the ire of the Iranian regime by standing with Iranian women’s struggle for rights and freedoms, condemning the government’s actions and repression. The striker, who held the international goalscoring record until last year and captain of the national team, raised his voice to join the protests over the death of Masha Amini after wearing the wrong veil.

Day, 53, criticized police for the “repression, violence and arrests” of the protests. The player has taken to his Instagram account to express his anger at Amini’s death. “My daughter asked me what happened. What answer can I give her? What crime did she commit? What did they do to this country?” she wrote.

Authorities confiscated his passport a few days later, but eventually returned the documents to him.

“After I returned from abroad, the police took my passport at Tehran International Airport in the presence of my family and others. The notice they gave me said that I had to go to the Revolutionary Prosecutor in the capital (Tehran). officers to follow up on the case,” he told the media. However, the footballer said “the passport application was not an important issue for me, so I didn’t go anywhere,” Daei said, explaining that the authorities “returned it after two or three days”.

Day was captain of the national team 20 years ago when Iran was one of the top football nations in Asia. His 109 international goals were a 15-year record until surpassed by Portugal and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. He also ranks second among Iranians with the most caps. She is the latest prominent figure in football to clearly position herself in defence of women’s rights.

Iran’s second-most played player, Ali Karimi, also spoke out in support of the protests, writing on his social media: “Iran’s next Kawi is a woman.” In Iranian mythology, Kawi is a woman. Wei was a blacksmith who led a revolt against oppressive rulers 5,000 years ago.

Football and women’s protests have been linked for years, in part over a ban on women from men’s games. Three years ago, Sahar Khodayari, 29, set himself on fire after being caught trying to infiltrate the game, sparking protests from major players, including Karimi.

The Iranian soccer team has sided with the women in a friendly against Senegal in late September, covering their shields during the game to protest the treatment of women by Iranian authorities. .

Authorities have threatened many national team players who support the protests by excluding them from next month’s World Cup final in Qatar. However, these threats appear to have had no impact. Leverkusen striker Sardar Azmoon wrote: “The worst that could happen is that I was kicked out of the national team, even a hair of an Iranian woman, and that was a small price.”

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