The Iranian authorities have arrested the famous footballer Voria Ghafouri, accused of having “insulted and besmirched the reputation of the national team, Team Melli, and of having made propaganda” against the regime. This is what we read in the Iranian news agency Fars, which explains that the arrest took place after a training session of his team Foolad (“steel”, in Persian) from Khuzestan. The 35-year-old footballer is originally from Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan, and posted a photo on his Instagram profile in which he wears the traditional Kurdish dress. Former captain of Esteghlal, the famous team in the capital Tehran, he was forced to leave last July for his attacks against the authorities of the Islamic Republic. During the protests that began on September 16, he had come out in support of the demonstrators.
«I am shocked: I spoke to friends in Tehran, Ghafouri was arrested in front of his eldest son, 10 years old. And his wife is very worried, like all of us”. So Andrea Stramaccioni, Rai coach and commentator of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, on the phone with ANSA, comments on the arrest by the Iranian authorities of Voria Ghafouri, Foolhad footballer and former international “He was the captain of Tehran’s Esteghlal when I coached him,” recalls Stramaccioni, who will comment on Iran-Wales tomorrow as a technical voice. Ghafouri is considered a symbol player of Esteghlal, for his authority, intelligence and fair play.