sport news Iran arrests footballer for criticising the government and 'spreading ... trends now

sport news Iran arrests footballer for criticising the government and 'spreading ... trends now
sport news Iran arrests footballer for criticising the government and 'spreading ... trends now

sport news Iran arrests footballer for criticising the government and 'spreading ... trends now

Iranian security forces today arrested a former national football player for criticising the government over the crackdown on protests that have engulfed the Islamic Republic for months.

Voria Ghafouri, who was dropped from Iran's national squad ahead of the Qatar World Cup over his criticism of the regime, was arrested after a training session with his local club Foolad Khuzestan in Iran.

The 35-year-old was arrested over accusations that he had 'tarnished the reputation of the national team and spread propaganda against the state,' Fars News agency reported.

Ghafouri was also accused of supporting 'rioters', a term the Islamic states uses to refer to the anti-government protesters who have been demonstrating following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's morality police on September 16. 

The 22-year-old died three days after her arrest in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic dress code for women.

Iranian security forces today arrested a national football player for criticising the government over the crackdown on protests that have engulfed the Islamic Republic for months.

Iranian security forces today arrested a national football player for criticising the government over the crackdown on protests that have engulfed the Islamic Republic for months.

Ghafouri has been a vocal critic of the Islamic regime and its violent crackdown on the protests, which has seen at least 400 people killed.

He was listed as a member of Iran's 2018 World Cup squad but was not named in the final lineup playing at this year's World Cup in Qatar.

Ghafouri was formerly the captain of Iran's leading club Esteghlal before his contract was terminated and he moved to Foolad Khuzestan.

Many fans suggested the ending of his career with Esteghlal was revenge for speaking out in support of earlier protests that erupted this summer.

And in 2019, Ghafouri was summoned by Iranian authorities after he criticized Iran's hardline foreign policy. He said the country's policies on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria were hurting Iranians.

His arrest comes as Iran's footballers who are competing in the World Cup were warned by officials in Tehran they face retribution for their 'insulting' decision not to sing their national anthem ahead of their Qatar World Cup match against England.

The team could face reprisals if they refuse to sing Iran's national anthem in their remaining World Cup games, an Iranian politician warned, meaning all eyes will be on the team during their game against Wales on Friday.

Medhi Chamran, the chairman of Tehran city council, warned that the country 'will never allow anyone to insult our anthem', reports The Guardian

The Iranian national squad had stood stony-faced as the anthem played at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday ahead of their 6-2 World Cup defeat to England.

It was viewed as a stand of solidarity with protests currently engulfing Iran following the death of Amini. 

Iran's footballers have been warned by officials in Tehran they face retribution for their 'insulting' decision not to sing their national anthem ahead of their Qatar World Cup match against England on Monday (pictured)

Iran's footballers have been warned by officials in Tehran they face retribution for their 'insulting' decision not to sing their national anthem ahead of their Qatar World Cup match against England on Monday (pictured)

The Iranian national squad had stood stony-faced as the anthem played at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday ahead of their 6-2 World Cup defeat to England

The Iranian national squad had stood stony-faced as the anthem played at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday ahead of their 6-2 World Cup defeat to England

The Iranian national squad may now face retribution for their act of defiance after Chamran said on Tuesday: 'We will never allow

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