2 November Associated Press

Iran arrests 60 jubilant football fans in Shiraz after win over UAE


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Sixty people were arrested in Iran's southern city of Shiraz after the national football team won over the United Arab Emirates in the 2002 World Cup qualifying games Wednesday, the state IRNA news agency reported.

"Sixty people were arrested in the riots Wednesday night in Shiraz after the match between Iran's national football team with the UAE," Fars province police chief Hossein Zolfaqari said, cited by IRNA late Thursday.

He said 23 motorcylces and nine cars were also confiscated after the match. "The files of those arrested are currently being studied, and if they are not linked to the riots, they will be set free," Zolfaqari said.

Iran's national football defeated the UAE 3-0 in the second leg of their Asia zone World Cup qualifying play off in Abu Dhabi Wednesday.

Post-match celebrations in Tehran Wednesday were relatively peaceful as compared to the previous matches, which lead to rioting and clashes with police in Tehran and other cities.

In Tehran, several hundred people have been arrested during the course of the past two weeks after each football match. Neither officials nor state media have reported any rioting or arrests in Tehran after Wednesday's match.

In October, President Mohammad Khatami appealed to the nation's football-mad youth to curb their emotions after destructive riots erupted following Iran's 2-1 victory over Iraq in a World Cup football qualifier. "The expression of joy should not cause problems and anger among other citizens," Khatami was quoted as saying by IRNA. In related news the basij high command announced that 15,000 people took part in the war games which were held in the Saheb al-Amr station near Shiraz.

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