Iran releases 715 prisoners following World Cup victory over Wales

The Cradle, November 28, 2022 — Iran will face off against the US in a “knockout game” for group B, where a draw would be enough for Iran to qualify for the next round.

On 28 November, Iran’s judicial authorities announced the release of 715 detainees from different prisons in the country, following Iran’s late victory over Wales by two goals to zero on Friday.

According to Mizan News, “some arrested during the recent events” were also released, hinting that the Islamic Republic granted a pardon to some detainees arrested during the riots, which have gripped the country for over two months.

“Following a special order by the head of the Judiciary Authority after the victory of our country’s national soccer team against Wales, 715 detainees were released from different prisons in the country,” the Iranian agency specified.

According to state news agency IRNA, former state television host, Mahmoud Shahriari, was also released after spending two months in prison for “encouraging riots.”

Prominent Iranian actor Hengameh Ghaziani, former international footballer Voria Ghafouri, and Hossein Ronaghi were also released on bail past Saturday, according to Iranian media.

According to Mizan News, the pardon will only affect those not imprisoned for attacking security personnel, burning private property, or the Koran.

Iran stunned Wales with two goals deep into stoppage time on Friday, reviving its World Cup campaign ahead of a politically charged clash with the United States on 29 November.

The World Cup has become a political stage for media, fans, and players to make political statements regarding the situation in Iran, Qatar, and Israel.

The US Men’s National Soccer Team has come under fire for a since-deleted tweet in which the football association displayed Iran’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic on 27 November.

In response, Iran’s football federation filed a complaint to FIFA against the US soccer federation for removing the word “Allah” from the Iranian flag, demanding serious measures by FIFA.

The deleted tweet by the US Men’s team was met with a wave of backlash from Iranians and non-Iranians alike, many of whom also pointed out that the action was in violation of Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, which carries a suspension of 10 matches.

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