Bayern Munich fans show support for Sardar Azmoun and Iran protesters

Bayer Leverkusen's Sardar Azmoun said he could not stay silent due to the crackdown against the protests in Iran

Agence France-Presse October 01, 2022 09:57:57 IST
Bayern Munich fans show support for Sardar Azmoun and Iran protesters

Iran and Bayer Leverkusen's Sardar Azmoun initially appeared to allege a gag order on the national team speaking out and condemning the authorities' deadly crackdown but he then stepped back. AFP File photo

Munich: Bayern Munich fans on Friday waited for Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun to take the field for opponents Bayer Leverkusen to unveil banners supporting the protests taking place in Iran.

The fans revealed the banners in the 60th minute, when Azmoun – who has spoken out in favour of the protests online – came off the bench.

One banner read ‘women, life, freedom’ in Farsi – a common chant heard in the Iranian protests – while another, in English, read ‘solidarity with the feminist revolution in Iran’.

Explained: Why Iranian women are chopping off their hair, burning hijabs

Earlier this week, Iranian football bloggers took screenshots of an Instagram post from Azmoun saying that because of “restrictive rules on the Team Melli (Iran), I could not say anything”.

But he added that he could not stay silent due to the crackdown against the protests.

“This will never be erased from our consciousness. Shame on you!” he wrote. The post was deleted and the entire content of the Instagram account, followed by some five million people, disappeared for days.

The protests, which have swept across the country and resulted in several deaths, are in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in police custody.

Amini was arrested for allegedly breaching Iran’s strict rules on religious clothing.

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