April 24, 2006
Tehran Soccer Game Turns Into Anti-Government Protest
Soccer game leads to protest in Iranian Capital
SMCCDI (Information Service):
Hundreds of Iranians used the occasion, offered by the match played between Bargh e Shiraz and Esteghlal (former Taj) soccer teams, in order to protest against the Islamic republic regime. The local game took place yesterday at the "Azadi" ('Freedom') stadium of Tehran. Slogans were shouted and street clashes took place in the Azadi, Karaj and Enghelab areas as security forces attacked the protesters.
Dozens of security patrol cars and buses were damaged in retaliation to the brutality of Islamist Militiamen. Tens were seen injured or arrested at the issue of the unrest. Iranians are seizing the mass presence opportunity offered by soccer games or big events in order to protest and express their rejection of the Islamic regime. In that line, Iran was the scene of consecutive and massive protest actions, during the 2002 World Cup soccer qualification games but the trend was stopped by the believed forced loss of Iran to Bahrain. Since then, important soccer games have been often turned into popular protests, especially when they're played in Tehran. Most opposition groups, such as SMCCDI and the Iran National Secular Party (INSP), and underground networks have planned massive popular protest actions, both inside and abroad Iran, at the occasion of the upcoming 2006 World Cup games in Germany.
Iran's first game is scheduled for June 11th against Mexico and Its other first round games are against Portugal, on June 17th, and against Angola on June 21st. SMCCDI is known for its important role in the promotion of Football (Soccer) Protests and especially in the coordination of last World Cup Soccer qualification games' riots. It constantly mobilized the masses via the intense use of digital technology, such as the Internet and satellite TV, as well as, help from some friendly Persian speaking radio stations abroad who were offering airtime for consecutive interviews and transmitting the Movement's calls.
Source: - A Daily Briefing on Iran -- originally posted by DoctorZin