Leagues

ST POLTEN, Austria — Two supporters protesting against the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody in Iran earlier this month after being charged for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly, were ejected from Iran’s friendly international against Uruguay by police in Austria after entering the supposedly-behind closed door fixture in St Polten.

Police approached the two men midway through the first half of the game in the NV Arena, 50 miles from Vienna, and asked them to hand over the placard which said Amini was ‘murdered by the police of the Islamic Republic of Iran.’

After failing to persuade the supporters to end their protest, police marched the men out of the stadium.

The death of Amini has sparked widespread protests in Iran which have seen women take to the streets without hijabs (headscarves) and cut their hair in a show of defiance.

As a result of the situation in Iran, the country’s government insisted that the national team’s friendly game against Uruguay be played behind closed doors to nullify the prospect of further protests.

But despite the game officially being listed as a ‘behind closed doors’ fixture, fans from both teams were allowed into the NV Arena, with the main stand populated by around 400 spectators.

Before the game, media were told that neither Iran coach Carlos Queiroz or any of the team’s players would be available for interview after the fixture.

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