NewsSpecial WireAtmosphere tense around Iran World Cup qualifier match stadium

Atmosphere tense around Iran World Cup qualifier match stadium

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Jun. 08 – With only a draw needed against Bahrain’s football side for Iran to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, State Security Forces in their thousands have lined the perimeter in and around Tehran’s 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium to prevent sporadic demonstrations against the state. Iran Focus

Tehran, Jun. 08 – With only a draw needed against Bahrain’s football side for Iran to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, State Security Forces in their thousands have lined the perimeter in and around Tehran’s 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium to prevent sporadic demonstrations against the state.

Ahead of the football match, all eyes are on the gathering crowd in and around the stadium as much as they will be on the players themselves, with many expecting post-match celebrations to turn political, as they have done on previous occasions.

At the main entrance to the stadium under tight security tens of thousands of youths have been turned away despite having tickets for the match.

The atmosphere is becoming increasingly out of control, with many youths openly declaring that they would use the opportunity to call for a boycott of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.

With more than half of Iran’s population under the age of 25, youths in Iran are a driving force behind calls for social freedoms.

Tension has been building up all day and thousands of special anti-riot units have been on high alert hours before the match is set to start, eye witnesses said.

A similar qualifier match against Japan in Azadi Stadium in March saw a brutal crackdown on spectators by agents of the SSF after people used sonic-booms, chanted anti-regime slogans, and started an anti-government demonstration.

Seven people were killed following that match, sparking the international football governing body FIFA to request an investigation by authorities as to the cause of the deaths.

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