FC Bayern is worried about a former player. After reports about the alleged arrest of his former striker Ali Daei, the German soccer record champion commented on the situation in Iran for the first time.
“FC Bayern very much hopes that our former players and their families are doing well. You have our undivided solidarity,” wrote the association at the request of “Spiegel” on Friday evening.
It goes on to say: “FC Bayern Munich has been in regular contact with the German ambassador in Tehran for some time out of concern for the well-being of the three former FC Bayern players from Iran.” And: “We have offered our support and we are aware of the current sensitive situation.”
The 53-year-old Daei is Iran’s record capper, he played for FC Bayern between 1998 and 1999. According to a report by the Kurdish human rights organization Hengaw, Daei was arrested by security forces last week in Saghes, Iran, when he wanted to take part in a mourning rally for the deceased Jina Mahsa Amini. There is no official confirmation of the arrest yet.
The 43-year-old Ali Karimi, who played for Bayern between 2005 and 2007, is also threatened with imprisonment for his support of the protest movement in Iran. However, Karimi is said to be abroad.
In addition to Daei and Karimi, Iranian-born Vahid Hashemian (46) also played for FC Bayern from 2004 to 2005.
The lack of celebrations after the Iranian football club Esteghlal won the Supercup this week also caused a sensation. The players are said to have received the trophy without emotion after the match against Nassaji in the central Iranian city of Kerman, reported the sports website “Tarafdari”.
For more than six weeks, tens of thousands have been demonstrating in Iran against the repressive course of the government and the Islamic Republic. The protests have become one of the biggest stress tests for the country’s leadership since the founding of the state.
The trigger was the death of the young Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini in mid-September. She died in police custody after being arrested for breaking Islamic dress codes.
Because of human rights violations in Iran, there have recently been calls for Iran to be excluded from the World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 20th. The world football association Fifa has not publicly taken a position on the situation in Iran.