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Iran’s legendary soccer player under fire for backing protests 

Ali Karimi’s name is being chanted out loud by his fans on the street since the day he threw his support behind the ongoing anti-government protests in Iran that started Sept . 16.
Mohammad Ali Karimi, a nominee for AFC Player of the Year, speaks at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 28, 2012.

TEHRAN — Iranian officials have taken aim at Ali Karimi, a legendary and highly popular former soccer player who has been speaking in defense of nationwide anti-government protests in Iran, sparked by the Sept. 16 death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, 22, in custody of Tehran’s “morality police,” for violating hijab laws. 

“The prosecutor-general should enter the case of Karimi’s accusations against the entire system and the lies he spreads on social media,” stressed Hossein Ali Haji Deligani, who is a member of parliament and member of the Judiciary Committee within Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly. In an interview with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated Fars news agency published Sept. 30, he called on the judiciary to put Karimi “on trial.”  

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