Iran reroutes international flight to get football legend’s family on board

Iran reroutes international flight to get football legend's family on board

Iran has seen massive protests against the hijab since September 2022. (Representative)

Tehran, Iran:

Iranian football legend Ali Daei, who has supported protests following Mahsa Amini’s death, said on Monday a plane from Tehran to Dubai had been diverted and his family had been asked to leave go.

Protests have erupted in Iran since the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Amini, after she was arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women. country. Tehran often calls protests “riots”.

Daei, 53, a former German Bundesliga striker who scored 109 goals at international level for a long time until being overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of Iran’s most famous footballers .

Daei said his wife and daughter had flown on a Mahan Air flight, which took off from Imam Khomeini airport in the capital Tehran, bound for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, ISNA news agency reported.

However, the plane was rerouted and landed on the Iranian island of Kish in the Gulf, where his family was taken, state news agency IRNA said.

Citing the judiciary, IRNA said that “Daei’s wife has committed to informing relevant organizations of her decision before leaving the country”, after they were “associated with opposing groups” Islamic revolution and rioters and calls for strikes”.

The IRNA report added that “the flight landed at Kish airport and Ali Daei’s wife and daughter disembarked”.

‘Taken off’

The former Bayern Munich player, who played in Iran’s 2-1 win over the United States at the 1998 World Cup, said he had been targeted by threats after backing protests over the Amini’s death.

“My daughter and wife were taken off the flight, but they were not arrested,” Daei said, ISNA reported.

“If they were banned, the passport police system should have shown it: nobody gave me an answer on this. I really don’t know what the reason is for these things.”

Daei said he is trying to arrange to bring his family back to Tehran.

“Do they want to catch a terrorist? My wife and daughter are going to Dubai for a few days and back,” he added.

Daei on September 27 used social media to urge the government to “solve the problems of the Iranian people instead of using repression, violence and arrest”.

In October, Daei told AFP that his passport was confiscated by police when he returned from abroad, before being returned to him a few days later.

He said he did not go to the World Cup in Qatar due to the Iranian authorities suppressing the protests.

In early December, his jewelry store and restaurant in Tehran’s fashionable north were sealed off, with local media reporting they had been ordered closed for “collaborating with counter-revolutionary groups”. network in cyberspace to disrupt the peace and business of the market.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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