National player shaken: 27-year-old was shot in Iran because he had cheered for the USA

The USA made it through to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar after beating Iran 1-0, while the Iranians missed out on going through to the knockout stages because of their defeat. The politically charged duel went peacefully on the pitchbut away from the green it provided another gloomy climax of the currently critical situation in the Near Eastern state.

As the human rights organizations Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) unanimously reported, a 27-year-old man was shot dead in Iran because he had celebrated the departure of his home country. Mehran Samak was “shot in the head by security forces” in the northern Iranian port of Bandar Anzali. Before that, he is said to have celebrated the defeat in his car, honking his horn.

The political situation in Iran has been extremely worrying since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September. Several hundred people have died in protests against the mullahs’ regime since then. The Iranian national team also voiced a silent protest, refused to sing the anthem at the start of the World Cup against England (2:6).. After the government apparently put pressure on the players and their families, the players sang along again in the following two games.

© Screenshot Instagram

The killed Samak was just one of many in Iran who had celebrated the departure of their country – it was his undoing. Team player Saeid Ezatolahi, who made two appearances at the World Cup, put a child’s photo in his story on Instagram, which shows him and Samak together in a soccer team. “After the loss, the news of your death set my heart on fire,” Ezatolahi captioned the photo. “One day the masks will come off and then the truth will be revealed. This is not what our youth deserve. This is not what our nation deserves.”



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