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Iranian authorities have arrested prominent soccer player and former national team player Woriya Ghafuri for criticizing the government.
On Thursday, Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported that Woriya Ghafuri was arrested for “insulting the national football team and propaganda against the government”.
Throughout his career, Ghafuri has been openly critical of the Iranian authorities, objecting to the ban on women at football matches, as well as to Iran's confrontational foreign policy.
More recently, he expressed sympathy for the family of Mahsa Amini, whose death has sparked the latest protests. In recent days, he has also called for an end to the violent crackdown on protests in Iran's western Kurdish region.
Reports of his arrest came ahead of Friday's World Cup match between Iran and Wales. In Iran's first match, lost 6-2 to England, members of the Iranian national team refused to sing their national anthem and some fans protested.
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