Solidarity (and Suspension) on the Soccer Field

June 19 Update: Any soccer players that were seen wearing the green wristbands have been suspended for “government interference”.

The Iranian soccer team was seen clad with green wristbands during their World Cup qualifying match against South Korea.

Green is the signature color of the mass Iranian movement for former presidential candidate Mir Hussein Musavi. Daily protests against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, numbering in the tens of thousands, have become virtual seas of green–with participants sporting green-colored headbands, shirts, and posters.

While there is no confirmation that the soccer team wore the wristbands in support of Musavi, it is not customary for players to wear wristbands at all.

Soccer has long been the sport of choice in Iran by both men and women. There’s a fantastic Iranian film called “Offside” about a group of women who try to sneak into a soccer match (interestingly enough, a match that determines whether Iran will compete in the World Cup) dressed up as men. It is directed by Jafar Panahi, one of Iran’s most influential and acclaimed directors. NPR has a great review on their website here, and you can also see a trailer on YouTube. Check it out!

Samah Choudhury contributed to this post

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20 thoughts on “Solidarity (and Suspension) on the Soccer Field

  1. Anything the Israeli government or the U.S. government can do to destabilise the Iranian government they will do even if it means subverting the democratic process by supporting groups within Iran that are in opposition to the currently elected government. It is a known fact that the American government has infiltrated and are conducting operations in Iran with the hopes of putting their own ‘Man” in power. Amnesty International should place its efforts solely in maters of the human condition. There may well be fraud and corruption in the election just as their has been in past American elections, however it is the Iranians themselves that must make the changes in their system of government without interference from abroad..

  2. Absolutely agree with Gerald Hodgson on U.S. / israeli sabotage campaign in Iran, & for demanding foreign nonintervention regarding systemic change which can only come meaningfully from the Iranian people.

    As Mr Hodgson correctly asks for Amnesty's efforts only in matters of human rights, i note Amnesty restricts itself to the same.

    When Amnesty talks of the "global community monitoring" the Iranian situation, i don't go with such a phrasing. There's no "global community" on this case at least, there's a sharp dividing line between "conscious" world opinion & the U.S./ israel empire.

  3. Anything the Israeli government or the U.S. government can do to destabilise the Iranian government they will do even if it means subverting the democratic process by supporting groups within Iran that are in opposition to the currently elected government. It is a known fact that the American government has infiltrated and are conducting operations in Iran with the hopes of putting their own ‘Man” in power. Amnesty International should place its efforts solely in maters of the human condition. There may well be fraud and corruption in the election just as their has been in past American elections, however it is the Iranians themselves that must make the changes in their system of government without interference from abroad..

  4. Gerald & John,

    Pretty sure free and fair elections are a basic right! … yep there it is, Article 21 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/)

    Not to mention right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20) and the right to freedom of expression and of free media (article 19)

    Enough of the kooky Israeli/US arguments. There's a groundswell of protesters in Iran, and the blog's pointing out there's support around the world. The international media is watching, WE are watching – and your comments here just waste space.

    There's no conspiracy, and it is a basic human rights issue, so respectively please stop trolling!

  5. Gerald & John,

    Pretty sure free and fair elections are a basic right! … yep there it is, Article 21 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/)

    Not to mention right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20) and the right to freedom of expression and of free media (article 19)

    Enough of the kooky Israeli/US arguments. There's a groundswell of protesters in Iran, and the blog's pointing out there's support around the world. The international media is watching, WE are watching – and your comments here just waste space.

    There's no conspiracy, and it is a basic human rights issue, so respectively please stop trolling!

  6. Gerald & John,

    Pretty sure free and fair elections are a basic right! … yep there it is, Article 21 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/)

    Not to mention right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20) and the right to freedom of expression and of free media (article 19)

    Enough of the kooky Israeli/US arguments. There's a groundswell of protesters in Iran, and the blog's pointing out there's support around the world. The international media is watching, WE are watching – and your comments here just waste space.

    There's no conspiracy, and it is a basic human rights issue, so respectively please stop trolling!

  7. Absolutely agree with Gerald Hodgson on U.S. / israeli sabotage campaign in Iran, & for demanding foreign nonintervention regarding systemic change which can only come meaningfully from the Iranian people.

    As Mr Hodgson correctly asks for Amnesty’s efforts only in matters of human rights, i note Amnesty restricts itself to the same.

    When Amnesty talks of the “global community monitoring” the Iranian situation, i don’t go with such a phrasing. There’s no “global community” on this case at least, there’s a sharp dividing line between “conscious” world opinion & the U.S./ israel empire.

  8. Gerald & John,

    Pretty sure free and fair elections are a basic right! … yep there it is, Article 21 (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/)

    Not to mention right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20) and the right to freedom of expression and of free media (article 19)

    Enough of the kooky Israeli/US arguments. There’s a groundswell of protesters in Iran, and the blog’s pointing out there’s support around the world. The international media is watching, WE are watching – and your comments here just waste space.

    There’s no conspiracy, and it is a basic human rights issue, so respectively please stop trolling!

  9. Fur Elise & Zahir et al, — Why this sudden talk of green wrist bands ?

    Rights violations are the point — but why the coming out for Moussavi by you ? What does either man offer ?
    What're their records but the same ? Only Moussavi's got the Western powers' backing, which may be the kiss of death for him.

    Why this taking of sides within one powerhouse, so uncharacteristic of Amnesty ?

    Amnesty & Jim McDonald's continuous solid work on sri lanka in the teeth of a bruising xenophobia — this is the organisation at its best, when it faces up to systems East & West. When it suddenly joins the mightier of the systems against the lesser, & its voice & arguments become identical with those of the corporate media all of a sudden championing the Westernbacked section of a distinctly nonWestern land & culture, then i feel this isn't the organisation's usual careful positioning on issues i've come to know & also slowly respect to a certain & even large extent. Campaigning is good but watch who's helping you in your campaign — or in this case, who the suddenly unusual orientation of your campaign may be helping. History's moving at a dizzying speed in the region you're dealing wih here.

    i understand Amnesty isn't a homogenous body, & that's welcome. But it also makes for vulnerability.

    The consensus on this ( Iran ) issue between all the usual warmaking hypocrites in america & europe's power points is striking, & should give you pause for thought. And, after all the hollow color code "revolutions" in Lebanon & Ukraine, to see you get excited over a stupid election color yet again certainly gives me pause re Amnesty's fragile "politics".

    And that gives me a sudden thought — is Moussavi as pro – freemarket a neoliberal as those color revolution stormers in Lebanon & Ukraine ? Thank you , Amnesty, for giving me the hint — there may be a connection here

  10. But it actually doesn't matter if Moussavi is the grand Panjandrum Himself.

    It's still a storm in a teacup, the elections.

    All these tempests of words on the polls ignore the reality of the Iranian system — that both candidates are merely creatures of the ruling Grand Council of Ayatollahs, who choose who runs & who doesn't.

    The soccer team wears green — & runs on the same playing field as the rest.

  11. I think it's a bit further reaching than a 'storm in a teacup'.

    The Iranian people are out in force demanding change. Yes it's only a first step, but I think we're seeing people reacting to being blatantly ignored by the Guardian Council.

    I think the cynicism with regards to the soccer team's excercising free political speech in support of those protesting back home is unfounded.

  12. Fur Elise & Zahir et al, — Why this sudden talk of green wrist bands ?

    Rights violations are the point — but why the coming out for Moussavi by you ? What does either man offer ?
    What’re their records but the same ? Only Moussavi’s got the Western powers’ backing, which may be the kiss of death for him.

    Why this taking of sides within one powerhouse, so uncharacteristic of Amnesty ?

    Amnesty & Jim McDonald’s continuous solid work on sri lanka in the teeth of a bruising xenophobia — this is the organisation at its best, when it faces up to systems East & West. When it suddenly joins the mightier of the systems against the lesser, & its voice & arguments become identical with those of the corporate media all of a sudden championing the Westernbacked section of a distinctly nonWestern land & culture, then i feel this isn’t the organisation’s usual careful positioning on issues i’ve come to know & also slowly respect to a certain & even large extent. Campaigning is good but watch who’s helping you in your campaign — or in this case, who the suddenly unusual orientation of your campaign may be helping. History’s moving at a dizzying speed in the region you’re dealing wih here.

    i understand Amnesty isn’t a homogenous body, & that’s welcome. But it also makes for vulnerability.

    The consensus on this ( Iran ) issue between all the usual warmaking hypocrites in america & europe’s power points is striking, & should give you pause for thought. And, after all the hollow color code “revolutions” in Lebanon & Ukraine, to see you get excited over a stupid election color yet again certainly gives me pause re Amnesty’s fragile “politics”.

    And that gives me a sudden thought — is Moussavi as pro – freemarket a neoliberal as those color revolution stormers in Lebanon & Ukraine ? Thank you , Amnesty, for giving me the hint — there may be a connection here

  13. But it actually doesn’t matter if Moussavi is the grand Panjandrum Himself.

    It’s still a storm in a teacup, the elections.

    All these tempests of words on the polls ignore the reality of the Iranian system — that both candidates are merely creatures of the ruling Grand Council of Ayatollahs, who choose who runs & who doesn’t.

    The soccer team wears green — & runs on the same playing field as the rest.

  14. I think it’s a bit further reaching than a ‘storm in a teacup’.

    The Iranian people are out in force demanding change. Yes it’s only a first step, but I think we’re seeing people reacting to being blatantly ignored by the Guardian Council.

    I think the cynicism with regards to the soccer team’s excercising free political speech in support of those protesting back home is unfounded.

  15. Thank you everyone for your comments.

    I just wanted to note that the purpose of these blog entries is not to take sides on the issue, rather to point out how far reaching these protests are. Additionally, Amnesty stands behind the protesters' right to peacefully dissent, whether it's on the streets of Tehran or the soccer field in Seoul.

  16. Thank you everyone for your comments.

    I just wanted to note that the purpose of these blog entries is not to take sides on the issue, rather to point out how far reaching these protests are. Additionally, Amnesty stands behind the protesters’ right to peacefully dissent, whether it’s on the streets of Tehran or the soccer field in Seoul.

  17. I doubt the Iranian people would be this willing to die for Israel or the United States.
    This is an Iranian protest, just watch the videos that are everywhere on the web.

  18. I doubt the Iranian people would be this willing to die for Israel or the United States.
    This is an Iranian protest, just watch the videos that are everywhere on the web.

  19. Should the Iranian people be expected to be willing to die for Israel or the United States? …

  20. Should the Iranian people be expected to be willing to die for Israel or the United States? …