According to his own statements, Iranian soccer legend Ali Daei has been threatened in his home country. The former kicker supports the ongoing protests in his home country. “I have received numerous threats against myself and my family over the past few days and months,” Daei said on Instagram. Senders were “organizations, media and unknown people,” reported the football icon.
Daei further wrote: “I was taught humanity, honor, patriotism and freedom. What are you trying to achieve with such threats?” The former Iran international called for the “unconditional release” of all arrested protesters in Iran.
The country has been shaken by a nationwide wave of protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the young Kurd Mahsa Amini (22), who was beaten to death by the vice squad. She was previously arrested for allegedly not wearing her headscarf properly.
Despite an invitation from the organizers, Daei did not travel to the World Cup in Qatar. He wanted to be “with my countrymen” and “express my condolences to all those who lost loved ones” during the protests, he said. Because of his support for the protests, Daei’s passport was confiscated for a few days in October.
The former Germany legionnaire scored 109 international goals for Iran. Daei was also part of the Iran team that won 2-1 against USA at the 1998 World Cup. On Tuesday, Iran play the United States in Qatar in a replay of the 1998 game and may have reached the round of 16 for the first time at a World Cup.
In the run-up to the duel against the USA, a false flag by Iran caused a stir. The game is already explosive enough from a political point of view. But the American association showed the national flag of Iran on its Twitter account without the symbol of the Islamic Republic. Only the colors green, white and red are shown. The emblem in the middle is missing.
The tweet has since been deleted. Nevertheless, outraged reactions from the Islamic world were not long in coming. US Soccer explained to CCN that the graphic should only appear temporarily for 24 hours to show solidarity with women in Iran. Iranian media are now even demanding that the United States be excluded from the World Cup. Iran and the US meet on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.