The legendary Iranian striker Ali Daei announced publicly on Monday his decision about declining the invitation sent to him to attend the FIFA World Cup 2022, which is being held in Qatar starting next week.
His decision was sparked by his unconditional urge to stand in solidarity with the ongoing Iranian protest participants who were maimed and detained by the autocratic rulers of the land.
Ali Daei takes firm stand amid Iraq protest
“I reject the official invitation of FIFA and Qatar Football Federation to attend the World Cup with my wife and daughters,” he wrote on Instagram.
And despite the theocratic regime of Iran putting internet restrictions and a ban on the social media platform Instagram, Daei’s post has exploded with almost over 2.4 million likes and about half a million comments within 24 hours of its upload.
“I prefer to be next to you in my homeland and express my sympathy with all the families who lost loved ones over these days,” added the Iranian.
Why is there a protest in Iran?
Since the protests broke out across Iran, spreading like wildfire among the residents and international stage alike, after the 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died earlier in September after getting detained by Iran’s morality police, the 53-year-old Iranian legend has been a vocal supporter across all platforms.
The former captain of Iran’s national football team had also earlier published an animated video of a woman taking off her headscarf or hijab and dancing. This very act has now become the newest symbol of resistance against the repression by the theocratic regime in the country.
Although the report could not be verified, a source has claimed that Daei’s passport has been confiscated for his vocal support for the protests. This has got sympathizers and fans all across the globe praising Daei for his kindness, courage, and leadership. What is good to know is that Daei is not alone in this battle.
Iranian football player Sardar Azmoun was also one of the potential protesters who risked missing out on being chosen in the final 11 of the Iranian national team selected earlier for the World Cup 2022 after thoroughly criticizing the government.