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Iranian footballers show support for Mousavi

SoccerNews in World Cup 18 Jun 2009

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Several Iranian footballers wore green wrist bands to symbolise support for defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi during their 2010 World Cup qualifier in Seoul.

At least six of the 11 Iranian players wore the green bands during the match against South Korea at the Seoul World Cup Stadium Wednesday night.

They included midfield star Ali Karimi, Masoud Shojaei of Spain’s Osasuna and Mehdi Mahdavikia of Eintracht Frankfurt. While most of them later took off the bands, captain Mahdavikia wore his until the end of the game.

Mousavi backers, who accuse President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of fixing the outcome of last week’s vote, adopted green for their election campaign. The colour is synonymous with descendants of the prophet Mohammed.

At the Seoul stadium, dozens of some 200 Iranian supporters waved their national flag inscribed with “Free Iran,” chanted “Where is my vote?” and held up portraits of Mousavi.

Some pro-Mousavi supporters scuffled with people who appeared to be staff from the Iranian embassy in Seoul, who were trying to stop the protest, South Korean sports officials said.

“The scuffles were minor and the match went on smoothly,” a spokesman for the Korea Football Association told AFP.

Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung scored a second-half equaliser to give South Korea a 1-1 draw against Iran in the match and end their World Cup qualifying campaign without a defeat.

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