Footballers protest against regime and women’s injustice

Be still and play: That’s what the Iranian association demands. There is no doubt where the sympathies of the players lie.
Image: Reuters

Soccer players from Iran will not let the regime shut them up: they criticize the fundamental injustice to which women are subjected in their homeland. How will FIFA react?

An Sunday evening, Sardar Azmoun broke the silence. It is true that the players of the Iranian national soccer team are committed to silently ignoring the popular uprising and the deaths on the streets of many cities. But he won’t do that any longer: “I can’t take it anymore,” wrote the striker Bayer Leverkusen earns his money on Instagram, where he is followed by 4.9 million people who can bypass the regime’s internet blocks.

The biggest penalty, Azmoun continued, is being thrown out of the national team. “A small price compared to a single strand of Iranian women’s hair. Shame on you, you kill lightly. Long live Iranian women!” Azmoun garnished his post with three middle finger emojis, the addressee of which was clearly recognizable: the message was linked to a video from the foreign broadcaster Iran International, in which the Revolutionary Guard strategist Hassan Abbasi doubted in a speech to followers that footballers could behave appropriately in line with the Islamic Republic. He also castigated their salary and the self-portrayal of their wives on social networks.

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