Ali Daei: Iranian soccer legend refuses to attend World Cup in solidarity with protesters


Iran’s report worldwide goalscorer Ali Daei mentioned on Monday that he refused an invite to attend the World Cup in Qatar subsequent week to face in solidarity with Iranian protesters.

“I rejected the official invitation of FIFA and Qatar Football Federation to attend the World Cup with my wife and daughters,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I prefer to be next to you in my homeland and express my sympathy with all the families who lost loved ones over these days,” added Daei.

The 53-year-old Iranian soccer legend scored 109 objectives for Iran between 1993 and 2006, a report damaged by Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo final 12 months.

Daei has been a vocal supporter of the nationwide protests throughout Iran, which broke out when 22-year-old lady Mahsa Amini died in September after getting detained by Iran’s morality police.

“Instead of repression, violence and arresting the Iranian people, solve their problems,” Daei wrote in one other Instagram submit in September.

CNN has reached out to Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy for remark.

Former Dutch worldwide Clarence Seedorf counseled Daei’s determination to not go to Qatar.

“You are a real spiritual leader for your people my friend,” mentioned Seedorf mentioned in a touch upon Daei’s submit on Monday.

“I admire you courage, kindness and leadership. Peace is what I wish can be reached asap. Much love you and family and all the brothers and Sisters in Iran.”

An activist group, United for Navid marketing campaign, had informed CNN that Daei’s passport was confiscated for his vocal help for the protests. CNN couldn’t confirm that declare.

Daei isn’t the one Iranian athlete protesting the federal government.

Final month, a legislation agency despatched a letter to FIFA on behalf of a bunch of former and present Iranian sports activities figures urging soccer’s governing physique to droop the Iranian Soccer Federation (FFIRI) and ban it from taking part at this 12 months’s World Cup in Qatar.

The letter says the actions of Iran’s soccer federation violate FIFA statues and laws.

“Iran’s brutality and belligerence towards its own people has reached a tipping point, demanding an unequivocal and firm disassociation from the footballing and sports world,” a press launch issued alongside the letter reads.

The letter was signed by, amongst others, Mohammad Reza Faghani, a FIFA-licensed referee, Vahid Sarlak, Asian Judo champion and Iran Nationwide Workforce member, and Shiva Amini, former Nationwide Girls’s Futsal Workforce participant.

Elsewhere, after scoring a objective within the Emirates Intercontinental Seashore Soccer Cup remaining, Saeed Piramoon imitated slicing his hair – a transfer signaling help for nationwide protests within the nation by calling for larger freedoms for ladies – an act that Iran’s soccer authorities have vowed to take care of.

Soccer participant Sardar Azmoun additionally doubtlessly risked lacking out on being chosen for the World Cup after criticizing the federal government.

“That is worth sacrificing for one strand of Iranian women’s hair,” Azmoun wrote in an Instagram story. “Shame on you who kill people so easily. Long live Iranian women.”

Nonetheless, Azmoun was named in Iran’s World Cup squad on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Azmoun suffered a calf muscle calf whereas warming up for Bayer Leverkusen’s Champions League recreation towards Porto on October 4 and hasn’t performed since for the German membership.
Azmoun was anticipated to be sidelined for between six and eight weeks, in accordance with Leverkusen.