26-year-old Gol-e Rayhan player in the Iranian Premier League has been sentenced to death for his support for the “women’s rights movement” in the country and for protesting against the “death of Mahsa Amini” according to media reports.
Amir Nasr-Azadani was arrested in September for committing ‘moharabeh,’ which is a Persian term that roughly translates to ‘waging war against God.’ However, reports in news agencies across Iran, suggest that the regime had arrested Nasr-Azadani for the alleged murder of Colonel Esmaeil Cheraghi, and two members of Iran’s voluntary paramilitary service, known as Basij.
Azadani has played for Iran’s national youth team and Iran’s premier league clubs like Rah-Ahan Tehran FC, Tractor SC and Gol-e Rayhan. According to media reports, Azadani hasn’t played professional football since 2017.
FIFPRO, the professional players’ governing body has condemned the sentence “after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country. We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment,” the body said.
During the FIFA World Cup, the Iranian player refused to sign the national anthem in their matches in protest of the treatment of women in the country, something observers pointed out will have great repercussions on the said players.
Alireza Beiranvand, Iran’s goalkeeper who took part in the Qatar expedition has publicly and unequivocally condemned the executions and death penalties currently being handed out in the country. He asked on Instagram for the sentences to be revoked, according to Marca.
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