As Iran plays in the 2022 World Cup in Qataris a former member of the national football team arrested for criticizing the Iranian government.
Voria Ghafouri, who was not selected as a member of Iran’s 2022 World Cup teamwas arrested on Thursday for “insulting the national soccer team and anti-government propaganda,” according to the Associated Press.
Ghafouri recently expressed his support for the family of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in custody by Iranian authorities.
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Her death has sparked nationwide protests calling for the end of the government of the Islamic Republic.
Ghafouri’s arrest came a day before Iran beat Wales 2-0 to clinch its first win of the 2022 World Cup.
In their opening game against England – a 6-2 loss – Iranian players did not sing the country’s national anthem as a show of support for protesters.
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The national team sang the national anthem on Friday and joined hands before the game.
Iran scored two goals in stoppage time and shocked Wales with goals in the 98th and 101st minutes.
“We’re gutted, there’s no other way to put it,” Wales captain Gareth Bale told the BBC after the game. “We fought to the last second and we have to go again.
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“We’re all gutted, but we have to pick ourselves up right away. It’s definitely going to be hard for us. We’ll have to see.”
Iran now has three points in Group B and wants to advance to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report