Iran diverts international flight to disembark football legend’s family

Since September 2022, there have been massive anti-hijab protests in Iran. (representative)

Tehran, Iran:

Iranian football legend Ali Daei, who backed protests after Mahersa Amini’s death, said on Monday that a plane from Tehran to Dubai had been diverted and his family had ordered it to take off.

Protests have gripped Iran since Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died on Sept. 16 after he was arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women. Tehran usually refers to the protests as “riots”.

Daei, 53, a former German Bundesliga striker who was unmatched with 109 goals in international competitions until Cristiano Ronaldo overtook him, is Iran’s most famous footballer. One of the athletes.

Day said his wife and daughter were on a Mahan Air flight from Imam Khomeini Airport in the capital Tehran to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, ISNA news agency reported.

But state news agency IRNA said the plane was diverted and landed on the Iranian Gulf island of Kish, where his family was also transferred.

IRNA quoted the judiciary as saying that “Daei’s wife had promised to inform the relevant authorities of her decision before leaving the country” because they had “links to groups opposed to the Islamic revolution and rioters and called for a strike”.

“The plane landed at Kish airport and Ali Daei’s wife and daughter disembarked,” the IRNA report added.

‘take off’

The former Bayern Munich man, who featured in Iran’s 2-1 win over the United States in 1998, said he had been the target of threats after supporting protests sparked by Amini’s death.

“My daughter and wife were taken off the plane but not arrested,” Daeong said, according to ISNA.

“If they were banned (leaving), the passport police system should have proven it: no one has an answer for me. I really don’t know what the reason for these things is”.

Daei said he was trying to arrange for the family to return to Tehran.

“Are they trying to arrest a terrorist? My wife and daughter are going to travel to Dubai for a few days and come back,” he added.

Daiei used social media on September 27 to call on the government to “solve the problems of the Iranian people instead of using repression, violence and arrests.”

In October, Daeong told AFP that his passport was confiscated by police after he returned from abroad and returned to him days later.

He said he did not travel to Qatar for the World Cup because of Iranian authorities’ crackdown on protests.

His jewelry store and restaurant in trendy northern Tehran were seized in early December, with local media reporting that they were ordered to close for “collaborating with counter-revolutionary groups in cyberspace to disrupt the peace and business of the market”.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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