Iran 'seizes world's second top international scorer Ali Daei's passport over protests' weeks ahead of England clash | The Sun
3rd October 2022

IRAN has seized national hero Ali Daei's passport and banned him from leaving the country after he expressed support for the protests.

Daei, 53, was the all-time men's leading international scorer with 109 goals until Manchester United superstar and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo broke his record last year.

The legendary striker, who previously managed Iran for a year until 2009, has backed the national protests after the killing of Mahsa Amini, 22, while in police custody last month.

Amini was detained by the "morality police" accused of not complying with the country’s strict hijab rules and died three days later while in custody.

Iran's theocratic government argues that the 22-year-old had underlying health conditions but her family and thousands of protesters insist she was killed.

Daei has sided with the demonstrators – both male and female – protesting for women's rights in Iran with a post on Instagram showing a girl dancing after removing her hijab.

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According to Iran International, the Islamic Republic's security forces have now confiscated the ex-Bayern Munich ace's passport upon his return to Tehran from Istanbul.

The ex-Hertha Berlin ace was also told he is now banned from leaving Iran.

Daei posted: "My homeland Iran means: My family, my father and mother, my daughters and fellow countrymen are my brothers and sisters, I will surely stay with them forever.

"Instead of repression, violence and arresting the Iranian people, solve their problems.

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"Those who talk about revolution and the dreams of martyrs, do they know that these dreams are poverty, corruption, prostitution, embezzlement and…. It has not been and we cannot correct ourselves."

This takes place just a few weeks before England face off against Iran at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Three Lions lock horns with Carlos Queiroz's side on November 21 in Group B, which also includes Wales and USA.

The national team followed Daei's example as they wore black jackets while the national anthem played, concealing the nation's colours and badge, before last month's friendly against Senegal.

Daei is now the second all-time scorer on the international stage with Ronaldo currently counting 117 goals in 191 caps.

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