Iran said to seal businesses of soccer legend Ali Daei over his support for protests

Judiciary reported to close jewelry shop and restaurant owned by top goal scorer for his ‘cooperation with anti-revolutionary groups in cyberspace’

Then Iran national team coach Ali Daei watches a match against Thailand in the 2011 Asian Cup qualifier at Rajamangala stadium in Bangkok, January 28, 2009. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)
File: Then Iran national team coach Ali Daei watches a match against Thailand in the 2011 Asian Cup qualifier at Rajamangala stadium in Bangkok, January 28, 2009. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has sealed a jewelry shop and restaurant belonging to football legend Ali Daei, after he backed protesters’ calls for strikes this week, local media reported on Monday.

Daei’s 109 goals at the international level were long unsurpassed until Cristiano Ronaldo overtook him.

ISNA news agency, citing the judiciary’s media center, reported that the ex-player’s shop and restaurant in Tehran’s fashionable north end had been ordered shut.

“Following the cooperation with anti-revolutionary groups in cyberspace to disrupt peace and business of the market, a judicial order was issued to seal Noor Jewellery Gallery,” ISNA reported.

It said a restaurant linked to Daei had also been ordered shut but gave no details about it.

Last week Daei said he had been targeted by threats after backing the protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died in custody on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police for an alleged violation of the country’s strict dress code for women.

The protests have continued for almost three months. There have been hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests, including of footballers and other celebrities.

Daei played in Iran’s legendary 2-1 World Cup victory against the United States in 1998.

He said he decided not to go to the current World Cup in Qatar due to the Iranian authorities’ deadly crackdown on the protests.

Daei also played in the German Bundesliga, including with Bayern Munich.

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