A prominent Iranian soccer player was arrested Thursday on charges that included destroying the reputation of the country’s national team, which is competing in the World Cup, state-linked Iranian media outlets reported Thursday.
The player, Voria Ghafouri, is a former member of Iran’s national squad and a frequent critic of the government. His arrest occurred at a moment in which Iranian soccer players are under close scrutiny for their statements about a nationwide uprising in Iran that has continued for months.
Iran’s national team, during a match against England on Monday, declined to sing during the playing of the country’s national anthem, in what was widely seen as a silent acknowledgment of the protests. Iran’s national broadcaster showed select images of spectators cheering for Iran during the match but not the political signs carried by some. [Continue reading…]