Soccer is wildly popular in Iran. Even the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, occasionally gets into the act.
As protests in Iran continue, the extent to which the government will go to silence dissent has sunk to even further depths of ridiculousness. Protesters at a Tehran soccer match chanted and waved green banners, to which government censors responded by delaying the telecast of the game and editing out the crowd noise and close-ups. —JCL
Live television coverage of an Iranian football match was blacked-out because sections of the crowd were chanting anti-government slogans and waving green emblems in support of the country’s political opposition, it was claimed yesterday.
The premier league match between Esteghlal and Steel Azin took place at Tehran’s Azadi stadium just hours after tens of thousands of green-clad protesters used the state-organised Quds Day anti-Israel demonstrations to voice their opposition to the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is accused of stealing Iran’s recent election.
The game’s scheduled live TV coverage was disrupted apparently after bosses of the state broadcaster, Irib, learned of the presence of protesters inside the stadium.