By Samindra Kunti in Sankt Polten
September 29 – With a second-half strike from Mehdi Taremi, Iran defeated Uruguay 1-0 in a pleasant worldwide, however the match was overshadowed by an remoted protest towards the Iranian regime.
Iran vs Uruguay was all the time going to have political undertones with nationwide protests raging in Tehran and throughout cities within the nation following the dying of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian lady who was arrested for breaking Iran’s strict guidelines on sporting the hijab and died in custody.
The match in Sankt Polten, a rural city east of Vienna, was staged behind closed doorways even when each groups introduced a sizeable variety of officers, VIPs and invitees. Finally, some followers have been allowed in and two protesters sneaked in.
“It’s to present a voice to the folks in Iran,” stated Farhad, who had come from Vienna. “The police of the Islamic republic is killing the folks in Iran. The folks from the regime contained in the stadium stated dangerous issues to me. I’m sorry for these individuals. Do they wish to see a terrorist regime and no humanity?”
A good friend of Farhad held a placard in protest, however the pair have been ejected from the stadium halfway by the primary half by the Austrian police, elevating questions over the precise to freedom of speech and who the police have been taking orders from.
In an announcement to Insideworldfootball, a spokesman of the Austrian police wrote: “Within the first half of the sport, an individual apparently held up a poster in protest. This individual was knowledgeable by the organizer and safety that the protest within the stadium just isn’t desired. This individual left the stadium of their very own accord with out being pressured to take action. The police have been solely current as a safety measure. Solely the id of the individual was ascertained. She [He] was neither reported to the competent authority nor expelled from the nation.”
The police assertion nonetheless contradicts what occurred on the bottom. Farhad and his good friend didn’t depart the stadium voluntarily and one protester was nearly manhandled as his cellphone dropped on to the ground.
Earlier than the match, Iran’s FA had banned all Iranian media in addition to ESPN, Every day Mail, BBC Persian and Voice of America from masking the match, however following strain from journalists in addition to FIFA all journalists ultimately retained their credentials.
Iran didn’t stage a post-match press convention or a blended zone, but it surely didn’t stop the gamers from making an announcement in their very own manner. After the match, they up to date their social media accounts with a black avatar. Star striker Sardar Azmoun later posted: “Due to the restrictive legal guidelines positioned on us within the nationwide workforce… I can’t take it anymore! I’m not frightened about being dropped. This can by no means be erased from our consciousness. Disgrace on you! You kill simply. Lengthy Reside Iranian ladies!”
For the second time in a matter of days, Azmoun’s publish quickly grew to become unavailable on-line. The assertion immediately defies the Iranian regime and Azmoun dangers dropping his place within the World Cup squad.
Former gamers have additionally spoken up, together with legends Ali Karimi and Mehdi Mahdavikia. Underneath strain from authorities and with the Revolutionary Guards calling for his arrest, Karimi has reportedly fled the nation.
Match organiser SLFC didn’t reply to Insideworldfootball’s request for remark.
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