Ali Daei speaks out against regime as protests reach fever pitch


Ali Daei, widely regarded as one of the greatest Iranian footballers of all time, has spoken out against his country’s regime and said he will not attend the World Cup in Qatar as it is being held alongside the protesters.

The 53-year-old former player and businessman, who is Iran’s top scorer, released a statement on his social media pages in which he said he would stay at home with his family.

He also expressed sympathy for those who have lost loved ones as protests against the Iranian regime continue to escalate.

Iran, who will face the United States, Wales and England in their World Cup group matches, have been called for a ban from the tournament due to their human rights record. man and the aggressive repression of demonstrations.

Ali Daei during the final draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Doha Exhibition Center on April 1, 2022. He said he will not represent Iran at the FIFA World Cup to protest against the repression of the authorities of his country.
Getty Images

Writing on Twitter and Instagram, Daei posted a photo of himself playing for Iran along with a statement about him snubbing the World Cup.

He wrote: “At a time when most of us were not feeling well, I declined the official invitation from FIFA and the Qatar Football Federation to attend the World Cup with my wife and my daughters, for being with you in my country and expressing my sympathy to all the families who have lost loved ones.

“Hoping for bright days for Iran and Iranians.”

The Iranian soccer legend scored 109 goals for his country between 1993 and 2006, a record only broken last year by Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Daei has been a strong supporter of protests across Iran since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.

She was detained by the Iranian vice squad and her death shocked the world.

Daei showed his support in September, after his death, when he wrote on Instagram: “Instead of repression, violence and arrest of the Iranian people, solve their problems”.

The former football star has received a lot of support on social media in response to his stance, with many calling him an inspiration to stand up to the authorities.

One tweeted in response: “Bravo #AliDaei ! Everyone should boycott the Iranian football team this year. Thank you to everyone who supports the #Woman_Life_Freedom movement in Iran! #Mahsa_Amini

Another added: “Ali Daei – legend on the pitch; legend in life.

“Lesser people bow down to thugs and dictators, he turns his back on them and stands with the people.”

Ali Daei
Iran’s top scorer Ali Daei during the 2006 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier match between Japan and Iran at the International Stadium August 17, 2005. He declined an invitation to attend the Cup FIFA World Cup in Qatar as he stands with protesters against the Iranian regime.
Getty Images

Daei also received support from revered former footballer Clarence Seedorf, who was a Dutch international.

He praised the Iranian for taking a stand and replied to Daei’s message: “You are a true spiritual leader for your people, my friend.

“I admire your courage, your kindness and your leadership. I wish peace to be achieved as soon as possible. Lots of love [to] you and your family and all the brothers and sisters in Iran.”

Amnesty International has denounced police brutality in Iran and the way protesters are treated.

He wrote on his site, in response to growing concerns about the safety of Iranian citizens: “Security forces have repeatedly used unlawful force. beaten with truncheons.

“Since Mahsa’s death, we have recorded the deaths of dozens of men, women and children. Hundreds more have suffered painful and serious injuries, including at least two who have been blinded by one or more two eyes.

“Most do not seek hospital care for fear of being arrested, which increases the risk of infection and other health complications. Iranian authorities shut down the internet to hide their crimes.

“Right now there is a crisis of impunity in Iran, and this has encouraged the Iranian authorities to kill hundreds of protesters and torture and abuse thousands more in recent years without fear of consequences.

“It is time for states to engage with the United Nations Human Rights Council to help fight impunity for serious crimes in Iran.”

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