Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Well, that could be black-and-blue, for all we know.

Last week, in GREEEEEEEEEEEEN!, we offered the story of the heroics of members of the Iranian Soccer Team, wearing green wrist bands (or arm bands), during their match in the World Cup qualifier round.

Today, the other shoe (soccer and otherwise) dropped;

Iran bans election protest footballers

Their gesture attracted worldwide comment and drew the attention of football fans to Iran's political turmoil. Now the country's authorities have taken revenge by imposing life bans on players who sported green wristbands in a recent World Cup match in protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election.

According to the pro-government newspaper Iran, four players – Ali Karimi, 31, Mehdi Mahdavikia, 32, Hosein Ka'abi, 24 and Vahid Hashemian, 32 – have been "retired" from the sport after their gesture in last Wednesday's match against South Korea in Seoul.


Most of the players obeyed instructions to remove the armwear at half-time, but Mahdavikia wore his green captain's armband for the entire match. The four are also said to have been banned from giving media interviews.

The fate of the other two players who wore the wristbands is unknown. None of the team members were given back their passports upon returning to Tehran after the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw – a result that ended Iran's hopes of qualifying for next year's tournament.


Ahmadinejad, a known football fan, has taken a close interest in the sport's affairs. In 2006 Iran was banned from international competition by the world governing body Fifa after claims of improper interference by his government. The ban was later lifted.

This year the national team coach Ali Daei was sacked, reportedly on Ahmadinejad's orders, after a 2-1 home defeat by Saudi Arabia.
Oh, boy ...

It is going to come to the Iranian Regime, sooner, or later, that they should be paying attention to the final stanza of lyrics, of ''Bein' Green' (from Ray Charles) that we posted previously;
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder green and it'll do fine, cause' it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be
From the rooftops ... Allah Akbar!

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