Sports, Middle East

Football: Turkish coach leaves Iran club over protests

Mustafa Denizli says he quit Tractor Football Club over fuel price protests in Iran leaving him 'psychologically exhausted'

Ahmet Dursun, Murat Keles  | 07.12.2019 - Update : 08.12.2019
Football: Turkish coach leaves Iran club over protests


A Turkish football coach on Saturday left his Iranian team over recent nationwide violent protests. 

Mustafa Denizli told Anadolu Agency that he decided to leave Tractor Football Club after they were unable to play some matches due to the protests and sometimes had to sleep on the team bus.

"I’m psychologically exhausted. I wanted to leave earlier but the club board didn't allow it," he explained.

Denizli said this season the team were doing well and might have climbed to the top of the Iranian league if not for missing matches.

Tractor Football Club are currently in 8th place in the Persian Gulf Pro League standings, with 5 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses to earn 18 points in 11 weeks.

They are now seven points behind leaders Esteghlal FC.

Tractor FC hired Denizli this June 2019 for a year-long tenure.

- Fuel price protests

At least 208 people in Iran have been killed since protests broke out last month over government fuel price hikes, according to Amnesty International.

Demonstrations broke out across Iran on Nov. 15 after the government imposed petrol rationing and raised fuel prices by at least 50%.

At least 100 banks and dozens of shops have been set ablaze during the protests, the semi-official Mehr news agency said, quoting security officials.

Although there are no official figures, the Fars news agency said more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested.

* Writing by Can Erozden

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