Iranian footballer faces execution after forced TV confession

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    Iranian footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani could reportedly face execution for campaigning for women's rights in his country.

    Footballers' union FIFPRO, the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers, tweeted on Monday night (December 12): "FIFPRO is shocked and sickened by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran 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." According to IranWire, the Islamic Republic’s judicial system is planning to hang the 26-year-old footballer for the death of Colonel Esmaeil Cheraghi and two Basij members.

    READ MORE: Iran tell FIFA to kick USA out of the Qatar World Cup because of social media post

    Iran is currently experiencing nationwide protests that were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September. Amini, 22, is said to have been detained by police for allegedly breaking the strict rules around head coverings.

    According to IranWire, Nasr-Azadani – and two other accused – appeared on state television on November 20, when they read a "forced" confession. IranWire added they were aware Nasr-Azadani, who formerly played for sides Rah-Ahan, Tractor and Gol-e Rayhan in Iran, was present at the protests.

    However, it is said he was never near the area where Cheraghi and the two Basij members were killed. And the source added his involvement in the protests was limited to chanting slogans for a few hours.

    The Iranian national team at the World Cup also undertook their own protest, as they refused to sing the national anthem before their opening clash with England on 21 November.

    Ahead of the clash, captain Ehsan Hajsafi had said: "We have to accept the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy. We are here but it does not mean we should not be their voice or we must not respect them.

    “Whatever we have is from them. We have to fight. We have to perform and score some goals to present the brave people of Iran with a result. I hope conditions change as to the expectations of the people.”

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    https://tellmysport.com/soccer/iranian-footballer-faces-execution-after-forced-tv-confession/

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