Iran arrests a soccer player for criticizing government and insulting the soccer team

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Iranian soccer player Voria Ghafouri (right), then a member of the national soccer team, fights for the ball with Iraqi midfielder Hussein Ali during the AFC Asian Cup soccer match in Dubai in 2019. The semiofficial Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported on Thursday that Iran arrested Ghafouri for insulting the national soccer team and criticizing the government.

Voria Ghafouri, a prominent player who wasn’t chosen to go to the World Cup, is an outspoken critic of Iran’s authorities. Reports of his arrest came ahead of Friday’s Iran-Wales World Cup match.

(Image credit: Kamran Jebreili/AP)

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