From the BBC report of Wednesday's game in Seoul, South Korea. Six members of the Iranian football team have worn gre
June 19, 2009

From the BBC report of Wednesday's game in Seoul, South Korea.

Six members of the Iranian football team have worn green armbands during a World Cup qualifying match against South Korea in Seoul.

The players wore the colour adopted by the opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in an apparent show of support.

He challenging the presidential election last week, in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected.

Most of the players had removed the bands in the second half.

Protesters in Iran who accuse the government of widespread fraud have been wearing similar green wristbands.

The team's captain, Mehdi Mahdavikia, was the only one of the players to keep his armband on after half time.

It was suggested the other players had been ordered by the coach to remove their bands.

UPDATE (via Twitter, translated):

  • “The soccer players who were wearing green wristbands in the Iran-South Korea game have been suspended.”

Nico Pitney gives a friend's assessment based on the players suspended:

Just got of the phone with a person who has a lot of insight into Iranian football. He covers Iranian soccer extensively and has interviewed many of the national players in the past few years. He made a great point. He said the 6 people who wore the bands, with the exception of one, are at the end of their careers and, knowing that there will be some kind of reaction, likely took the fall for rest of the team. He firmly believes the 5 older team members who others look up to most likely asked the others not to take the chance and not ruin their professional and financial careers.

Rachel Maddow gave her take on their courage a couple of nights ago.

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