Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America 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
Orlando City Signs Shea     
New MLS club Orlando City on Friday announced the signing of U.S. national team midfielder Brek ...
Report: Juve Eyes January Move for Falcao     
According to Italian soccer site Calciomercato, Manchester United may consider getting second-choice striker Radamel Falcao's huge ...
Reus Fined $665K for Driving without a License    
Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus has been handed one of the biggest driving fines in German ...
Balotelli Receives One-Game Ban, Fine for Instagram Post    
Mario Balotelli received a one game ban and a fine of 25,000 pounds after being found ...
Robbie Rogers: FIFA 'Insane' to Host World Cup in Russia, Qatar    
LA Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers has spoken out about FIFA's decision to stage the next ...
FIFA to Publish World Cup Corruption Report    
FIFA's executive committee on Friday agreed unanimously to publish Michael Garcia's report into the bidding process ...
FIFA: Qatar Needs Labor Reform to Keep 2022 World Cup    
FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger on Tuesday indicated that 2022 World Cup host Qatar must ...
CWC: Auckland City the 'Winner,' but San Lorenzo Progresses     
Real Madrid's will face San Lorenzo of Argentina in Saturday's Club World Cup final after the ...
Di Maria Beats Messi, Aguero to Argentina's Player of the Year    
Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria has beaten Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero to Argentina's player ...
League Cup: Rodgers Defends Sterling as Reds March On     
Following Liverpool's 3-1 League Cup quarterfinal win at Bournemouth, Coach Brendan Rodgers defended two-goal hero Raheem ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives