Who Is Amir Nasr-Azadani? Find Out About The Football Player And The Recent Reports
The 26-year-old Iranian league footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani has been apprehended and has been facing a death sentence in connection and account of his involvement in the recent protests in Iran which have been going on in the country for the past three months.
According to the reports on December 11, a story indicated the issue titled “Footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani in Danger of Execution.”
The story reported regarding the death sentence of the 26-year-old Iranian league footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani execution for a crime called “moharebeh” which when translated to English means “waging war against God.” which carries a death sentence.
When the world of football was made aware of the report they were shocked and sickened by the act and showed their solidarity and support for the player.
On December 13, FIFPRO, the international football player’s association, which represents 65,000 professional players worldwide tweeted a statement expressing solidarity with the player and asking for his sentence to be revoked.
The tweet said:
“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. We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment,”
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.— FIFPRO (@FIFPRO) December 12, 2022
We stand in solidarity with Amir and call for the immediate removal of his punishment. pic.twitter.com/vPuylCS2ph
According to sources senior officials in Iran’s judiciary have been in denial of passing any sentence in this case.
Who is Amir Nasr-Azadani?
- Amir Nasr-Azadani was Born in 1996 in the central-Iranian city of Isfahan.
- He showed interest in football at an early age and started playing football for the youth teams of local powerhouse Sepahan SC.
- He developed his skills and became a competent fullback. The athlete had the ability to play high up on the pitch.
- Then the young football player got selected for Iran’s youth teams, representing his nation at various levels of youth football.
- He joined the Tehran Rah-Ahan team in 2014 and played in Iran’s Premier League for the first time.
- Then he joined Tractor SC a year later and demonstrated his talents in one of Iran’s top clubs till 2018.
- Post his ACL injury which sidelined him for over a year the player re-emerge in Iran’s second division.
- Currently, at the age of 26, Nasr-Azadani was arrested by Iranian authorities.
Reported Reasons for Azadani’s Arrest and Execution
- In the month of November, 17 the Iranian authorities declared the death of Colonel Esmael Cheraghi due to violence that set off during ongoing protests.
- After Three days the authorities released a video exhibiting three “confessions” taking the blame for the death of the Colonel.
- Though the names were not revealed of those accused of eradicating Cheraghi, one of them resembled Nasr-Azadani.
- A few days later the arrest of the Iranian football player Nasr-Azadani was verified by the former director of his football club. He posted an Instagram tribute to the football player.
The footballer’s family was being threatened by security forces as per the reports, who did not want them to “disclose the news of his arrest” implying that Nasr-Azadani would face the “most severe punishment possible.” if they did.
The family could not choose a lawyer and was notified of the death sentence sometime in early December. While sources claimed that
“Nasr-Azadani had been present in some nationwide protests, but he was never present in the area where the Colonel was killed. His presence in the protests was short and limited to chanting slogans for a few hours.”
Amid the protests raging in Iran apart from Nasr-Azadani, many other athletes have been facing this.
The first footballer to be persecuted by the regime was the 22-year-old goalkeeper Mohammad Ghaemifar who was shot dead by security forces in October,
Other Footballers were arrested including Voria Ghafouri, Parviz Broumand, and Kaveh Rezaei over the course of the protests.
Legends like Ali Karimi, known as the “Asian Maradona”, and Iran’s all-time top goalscorer Ali Daei have also couldn't escape the regime’s wrath, with Karimi under self-imposed exile and Daei’s businesses being seized since he was vocally supporting the protesters.
Iran's football community has also expressed support for Nasr-Azadani along with the international community,
Mehdi Mahdavikia, the former Iran national team player, claimed to have seen the 26-year-old during the youth squad's camp in Germany and expressed his concerns about any prospective trial.