Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Iran's Turmoil Spills Into Soccer
Guardian UK, June 24th, 2009 3:15PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Iran's political turmoil has spilled onto the soccer field. The country's authorities have reportedly dealt lifetime bans to a group of Iranian players who wore green wristbands in last Wednesday's World Cup qualifier as a symbol of protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. According to the pro-government newspaper Iran, four players - Ali Karimi, 31, Mehdi Mahdavikia, 32, Hosein Ka'abi, 24 and Vahid Hashemian, 32 - are retiring, but speculation is that they are being banned for their gesture in the match against South Korea.

The green wristbands, adopted by demonstrators who believe the June 12 election corrupt, showed symbolic support of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Most of the players obeyed instructions to remove the wristbands at halftime, but Mahdavikia wore his green captain's armband for the entire match. The four are also said to have been banned from giving media interviews. The fate of the other two players who wore the wristbands is still unknown. None of the team members were returned their passports upon returning to Tehran after the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw - a result that ended Iran's hopes of qualifying for next year's tournament.

Iran's hardline media have also linked the protest to Saturday's arrest of Mohsen Safayi Farahani, who headed the country's soccer governing body under the former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami. Hezbollah, a pro-Ahmadinejad website, accused Farahani, a member of the pro-reform Islamic participation front, of bribing the players to wear the protest symbols. Incumbent Ahmadinejad, a known soccer fan, has a historical interest in the sport's affairs. In 2006, Fifa banned Iran from international competition after claims of improper interference by the government. The ban was later lifted.

 

Read the original story...


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Youth soccer fights back against 49ers    
Northern California youth soccer advocates, including Santa Clara Youth Soccer League President Tino Silva, have launched ...
Cal South TOPSoccer Program Turns 25    
"We're all soccer players, special needs or not," says Sandy Castillo, chair of the Cal South ...
How Neymar Played in Childhood     
Neyrmar: "I used to pick up the ball, set up the furniture and go around dribbling ...
Roma Partnering with U.S. Youth Clubs    
Italian Serie A club Roma, which has American ownership, aims to forge partnerships with seven U.S. ...
LVG: Falcao "Has to Prove Himself"    
Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has responded to criticism over dropping Radamel Falcao by claiming ...
Report: Adidas to Assist Messi Move?    
According to Spanish sports daily AS, Lionel Messi's sponsor Adidas could be the key to the ...
Toure Admits Man City Future in Doubt     
Speaking ahead of the opening games of the African Nations' Cup in Equatorial Guinea this weekend, ...
Ronaldo Blasts 'Defensive' Atleti Tactics    
Cristiano Ronaldo blasted Atletico Madrid for its unattractive style after the Rojiblancos ousted Real Madrid from ...
Fabian Johnson's 'Spat' with 'Gladbach Coach Favre    
According to Bild, USA defender Fabian Johnson is in a "spat" with Borussia Monchengladbach coach Lucien ...
Serie A to Introduce Goal-Line Technology     
Serie A will introduce goal-line technology next season after the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) gave its ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives