Two fans forced to leave stadium for protesting death of Mahsa Amini during Iran vs Uruguay friendly

The Iran-Uruguay fixture was played in the NV Arena in St. Pölten, Austria.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 24 September 2022 03:51 PM

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Two supporters were forced to leave the stadium during Iran’s friendly game against Uraguay for protesting against the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who tragically passed away in police custody in Iran earlier this month after being charged for allegedly wearing a headscarf or hijab improperly.


Police approached the two men during the first half of the game in the NV Arena in St Polten, 50 miles from Vienna. Then asked the men to hand over the placard which said Amini was 'murdered by the police of the Islamic Republic of Iran.' After the supporters denied requests to end their protest, police ejected the men out of the stadium.


The death of Amini has sparked massive protests across Iran and hence the Iranian government insisted that the national team's friendly game against Uruguay will be played behind closed doors to negate any chance of further protests. But despite the game officially being a 'behind closed doors' fixture, fans from both teams were allowed into the NV Arena, with the main stand holding around 400 spectators.


Over the years incidents like these have garnered a lot of criticism towards the Iranian Government and their sporting teams including football. Former Iranian wrestler Sardar Pashaei has called the Iran Government for using sports as a medium to strengthen the propaganda into the world and has deemed their action as ‘sports washing.’


Pashaei gave the example of Esteghlal FC captain Voria Ghafouri who was taken off the team and also placed a ban for showing him on television. Ghafouri was punished for criticizing the government earlier this year. 


While talking to ESPN, the former Iran wrestling coach said, "Voria Ghafouri, the captain of the Esteghlal team, was not only removed from the team but his picture was not allowed to be shown on Iranian television.”


“For these reasons, I believe that a government that does not believe in human values and human rights and uses their sports for 'sports washing' does not deserve to be in the international sports community. The 86 million people of Iran, and especially the young women of Iran, deserve better," he continued.


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