An Iranian football superstar has been banned from leaving the country after he showed support for the nationwide protests currently shaking Iran.
Ali Daei, the former captain of the Iranian national football team, is a national legend who scored 109 goals during his prolific career as a striker.
Now he has been barred from leaving Iran after his passport was confiscated by authorities in the capital city of Tehran.
This occurred upon his re-entry into the country during his return from a trip to Istanbul in Turkey, according to local media reports from 1st October.
The news came after the governor of the province of Tehran, Mohsen Mansouri, warned that famous Iranians who “blew into the embers of the riots” would face serious consequences while the former footballer is said to have joined a list of celebrity targets that grows bigger each day.
Ali Daei is a known supporter of allowing women to attend matches in football stadiums in Iran and is reported to be an active critic of the country’s political regime.
The former striker has gone on to back the protests now rocking the country in a series of Instagram posts that received a combined total of almost three million likes.
The football legend wrote: “My homeland Iran means: my family, my father and mother, my daughters and fellow countrymen are my brothers and sisters…
“Instead of repression, violence and arresting the Iranian people, solve their problems.”
The former striker was considered the top international goal scorer until his record was smashed by the Portuguese professional football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored a grand total of 117 international goals so far, according to FIFA.