Sáb. Feb 4th, 2023

As Iran plays in the World Cup 2022 in Qatara former member of his national soccer team has been arrested for criticizing the Iranian government.

Voria Ghafouri, who was not selected as a member of Iran team for the 2022 World Cuphe was arrested Thursday for «insulting the national soccer team and making anti-government propaganda,» according to the Associated Press.

Esteghlal’s defender Voria Ghafouri, right, is checked by Ahli’s forward Abdulrahman Ghareeb, left, during the AFC Champions League Group C match between Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli and Iran’s Esteghlal on April 27, 2021, at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Saudi city. from Jeddah.
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ghafouri recently expressed his support for the family of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iranian authorities.

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his death has sparked nationwide protests calling for the end of the rule of the Islamic Republic.

Ghafouri’s arrest came a day before Iran defeated Wales 2-0 to earn their first World Cup victory in 2022.

Voria Ghafouri, then a player of the Iranian national football team, right, fights for the ball with Iraqi midfielder Hussein Ali, during the AFC Asian Cup football match at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 16, 2019. The semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on Thursday, November 24, 2022, that Iran has arrested Ghafouri, a prominent former member of its national soccer team, for insulting the national soccer team, who is currently playing in the World Cup, and criticize the government as authorities deal with protests across the country.

Voria Ghafouri, then a player of the Iranian national football team, right, fights for the ball with Iraqi midfielder Hussein Ali, during the AFC Asian Cup football match at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 16, 2019. The semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on Thursday, November 24, 2022, that Iran has arrested Ghafouri, a prominent former member of its national soccer team, for insulting the national soccer team, who is currently playing in the World Cup, and criticize the government as authorities deal with protests across the country.
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

in its opening match against England – a 6-2 loss – The Iranian players did not sing the country’s national anthem in an apparent show of support for the protesters.

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The national team sang the national anthem on Friday, joining arms before the game.

Iran scored twice in stoppage time, surprising Wales with goals in the 98th minute and the 101st minute.

Iran's players celebrate winning the World Cup Group B soccer match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, November 25, 2022.

Iran’s players celebrate winning the World Cup Group B soccer match against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, Friday, November 25, 2022.
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

«We’re devastated, there’s no other way to say it,» Wales captain Gareth Bale told the BBC after the match. «We fought until the last second and we have to go again.

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«We are all devastated, but we have to get up immediately. It will be difficult for us for sure. We will have to see.»

Iran now have three points in Group B and are looking to advance to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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