Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lifetime Bans for Iranian Footballers

As noted in a previous post with video, six players on the Iranian national football (soccer) team wore green armbands in the first half of a recent game against South Korea. The color green is the color adopted by the opposition candidate Mousavi in the recent clearly rigged Iranian presidential elections. The game, which was televised live in Iran, surprisingly failed to delight the hard-line ultra-religious Iranian regime, and that's not only because the team's loss effectively ended the country's World Cup hopes.

Anyway, some commentary on the event noted that it was a particularly brave act by the athletes, because they would have to return home after the trip. And now the other shoe has fallen: Four of the athletes have been banned for life from the sport (we do not yet know about the other two), and the Iranian government is continuing a wide-ranging assault on other Iranian football figures related to reformist causes. That's all according to a report in the British paper The Guardian.

It's still not too late for some American professional athletes to sport a green armband in their next televised appearances. But I doubt any or many will.

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