Iran confiscates passport from ex-Bundesliga star Ali Daei

Iran confiscates passport from ex-Bundesliga star Ali Daei

Iranian authorities have confiscated the passport of former soccer international Ali Daei with immediate effect. The now 53-year-old, who is a professional player in the Bundesliga with Arminia Bielefeld, Bayern Munich and Hertha BSC, can no longer leave his home country.

The measure is seen as a reaction by those in power to support for Iran’s record international (149 appearances, 109 goals) for women’s rights. Daei had called on social networks to “solve the problems of the Iranian people instead of resorting to repression, violence and arrests”.

Iran has been the scene of protests since 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in police custody on September 16. The woman had been arrested by the so-called vice squad for allegedly violating the country’s dress code.

Ten days ago, Hossein Maahini, another ex-national player, was arrested for similar criticism of the country’s authorities. Bundesliga professional Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen) had also joined the protests in his home country. “Ashamed of you all, how carelessly people are murdered. Iranian women live long,” Azmoun (27) wrote in a post that has since been deleted.

There are now calls from the sports world to exclude the Iranian national team from the World Cup finals in Qatar in November and December. So far, the world governing body FIFA has not reacted to this initiative. Iran were drawn into Preliminary Group B along with USA, England and Wales.


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