Football body ‘sickened’ by Iranian footballer death sentence reports

The international football players’ union FIFPRO has said that it is “sickened” by reports that Iranian footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani has been sentenced to execution.

“FIFPRO is shocked and sickened by reports that professional footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in Iran after campaigning for women’s rights and basic freedom in his country,” the federation said in a tweet, calling for the removal of his punishment.

Western media outlets reported that the 26-year-old Iranian league footballer could be at risk of execution in connection with the death of several security officers during country’s continuing protests.

Meanwhile senior judiciary official has denied that Nasr Azadani has received a death sentence, Al Jazeera reported.

Asadollah Jafari, the judiciary chief of Isfahan, where the footballer was arrested, said on Sunday that an indictment carrying the charge of “accessory to moharebeh” has been communicated to football player, but a sentence is pending further investigation by a Revolutionary Court.

The footballer was arrested on November 16, two days after three members of the security forces were killed.

According to Jafari, Nasr Azadani is one of nine suspects. The judiciary chief claimed security camera footage shows he was a member of an “armed group that operated in a networked and organised manner with the intent of fighting the basis of the Islamic Republic establishment”.

Alireza Beiranvand, the current goalkeeper of Iran’s national football team, and former Team Melli captain Masoud Shojaei were among the footballers to use their social media platforms to express their shock over the report.

Iran has so far executed two people arrested during protests that began in mid-September, after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was arrested by the country’s morality police for alleged non-compliance with a mandatory dress code for women.