Since the Iran Revolution ignited in September, what began as furious protests toward the murder of Mahsa Amini, has bolstered into a national uprising in solidarity against the Islamic Republic.
With refinery contractors going on strike, undermining the intrastate economy, a theocracy nears the brink of overthrow. The regime murdered hundreds of youthful protestors. It arrested thousands more. As a result, an outpour of solidarity for Iran reverberates throughout UEFA.
Hertha Berlin’s Solidarity
Several players have clamorously protested the retroactive theocracy that has suppressed Iranians. For example, former Hertha Berlin striker Ali Daei vocalized his support. He called for the hoary regime to resolve its socioeconomic problems. He argued that in the present, it focused on repression, violence and arrests.
As a result, Iran interrogated the two-time World Cup veteran after returning to Tehran. Further, the Islamic Republic confiscated his passport.
Hertha Berlin showed solidarity by announcing their distress.
“Our former player Ali Daei is no longer permitted to leave the country (Iran) because he has come out in favor of women’s rights.”
This statement ignited a furor among a loyal fanbase. As a result, on Bundesliga matchday nine, Hertha fans unfurled banners at home against SC Freiberg. The fans displayed their accord, “Freedom for Ali Daei and all protesters in Iran.”
As a result, the Islamic Republic retracted, returning Daei’s passport earlier this week. However, the former record holder for ‘most goals all time’ commented that he doesn’t “understand why they seized” his passport, and “after this lack of respect, what does the passport return mean legally?”
Solidarity for Iran pours in across Europe
Earlier this week, the Swedish Women’s national team showed their unanimity. During a pre- game photo opportunity against France, midfielder Olivia Schough and striker Kosovare Asllani held a jersey imprinted with “We are playing for our girls in Iran.” Sweden was victorious, defeating France 3-0.
Moreover, Dutch winger Jürgen Locadia offered condolences. Tractor defeated Locadia’s club, Persepolis, in matchday eight of the Persian Gulf Pro League.
“Mahsa Amini, may your soul RIP. I wish I could have scored a goal for you, your family, and all Iranians in yesterday’s match.” Since matchday six, PGPL games have been played in empty stadiums throughout Iran.
Further, Hull City’s solidarity highlighted center forward Allahyar Sayyadmanesh. “Standing with Allahyar and the women of Iran.” The six-foot, 21-year-old phenom has made 16 appearances in the EFL Championship since joining The Tigers.
Finally, legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon showed his support on Instagram.
“In this period, Iranian women are fighting a battle too important for them to be left alone,”
Iran’s World Cup appearance has the chance to impact the political developments in the country.
Iran’s World Cup Spotlight against England, Wales, and the USMNT
In a perfect world, players represent the people – not the government. In Iran, it is the antithesis.
At the 2022 World Cup, many Iranian soccer fans unapologetically refuse to support Team Melli. The Islamic Republic owns 10 of the 16 teams in AFC’s Persian Gulf Pro League. Further, the Iranian soccer federation is controlled by military generals. As a result, many Team Melli fans could hear the national anthem and see the regime flag as an exacerbation.
Widespread scrutiny gears toward Persepolis midfielder Mehdi Torabi as pro-Islamic Republic, blithely ignoring his nation’s turmoil with sardonic expressions. Recently, Torabi wanted to score a goal and offer the ball as a gift to Iran’s tyrannical ‘Supreme Leader.’ As a result, Iranian fans pillory Team Melli at the World Cup. Therefore, it behooves the Iranian diaspora to reevaluate their perspective of Team Melli. In Iran, citizens are in turmoil, adamantly opposed to the draconian regime that Torabi genuflects for, among other players on the roster.
The Islamic Republic regime could intervene in its federation’s affairs, suppressing the players with ultimatums, like in 1998.
U.S.A. v. Iran, Part I – 1998
During halftime between USA vs. Iran at France 1998, IRGC officials, designated terrorists, threatened Iranian players with an ultimatum. Iranian players would not permitted to return to the homeland if the United States defeated them. So perhaps, Mehdi Mahdavikia’s momentum on the counter-attack breakaway that plummeted past Kasey Keller was motivated more by an obstinate determination to return to his family than it was to defeat the USMNT.
Unfortunately, soccer is far from being apolitical. The camouflaged truth is the world’s interest in Iranian resources: crude oil and natural gas. For 43 years, Iranians succumbed to a radical theocracy that hijacked an anti-imperialist revolution.
Iranians demand a secular government instilled with liberal values.
Now, Iranian women have shown that dictators cannot tame lionesses. Not by a theocracy, monarchy, or special interest oil cartels, swindling entities who have suppressed Iranians for nearly a century, preventing the people from obtaining true independence.
PHOTOS: IMAGO / Kirchner-Media
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