The wife and daughter of Iranian football legend Ali Daei have been banned from leaving Iran. The famous former Iranian footballer says a plane carrying his family made an unannounced stopover on the Iranian island of Kish en route to Dubai. The daughter and wife were allegedly asked to get off and questioned by the authorities.
Daei says her daughter was free to go sometime later, but the plane doors were already closed. Iranian airline Mahan Air and Iranian authorities declined to comment. His family would now be on their way back to Tehran.
The 53-year-old former footballer is one of the Iranian celebrities who have expressed support for the anti-government protests after the death of the 22-year-old Kurd Mahsa Amini in the month of September. Daei had called on the Iranian regime on social media to solve the problems of Iranians, instead of violently repressing and arresting them.
The semi-official Tasnim News Agency, which has close ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, reports that Daei’s wife was banned from traveling earlier this month because of her support for the protests. The trip you have now attempted to Dubai would be seen as an attempt to illegally violate that travel ban. Daei denies that this is the case.
Tasnim also reports that the woman’s final destination was not Dubai but the United States. The Iranian regime invariably claims that the United States and Israel are behind the protests. Daei himself claims that his wife and daughter had only planned to go to Dubai for a few days and then return to Iran.
Due to his support for the protests, Daei himself had his passport confiscated for a short time earlier this year. Authorities also closed a jewelry store and restaurant he owns this month.
International goals record
Daei was once captain of the Iran national football team and played for Bayern Munich and Arminia Bielefeld in the 1990s, among others. He is best known for his world record for international goals: 109 in 148 games, a record broken by Cristiano Ronaldo last year. In 1999, Daei was voted Asian Footballer of the Year.