Spanish fan who was walking to the World Cup in Qatar disappears in Iran

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A 41-year-old Spanish soccer fan, who set out to walk to Qatar for the World Cup in November, has disappeared in Iran, a country where strong protests have erupted in the weeks, confirmed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.

The last time Santiago Sánchez was heard from was on October 1, when he sent friends a photo of himself on the Iraq-Iran border with the caption: “Entrance to Iran.”

Some Spanish media outlets suggest that Sánchez had been detained by the Iranian authorities, and his parents in Madrid told the Telecinco television channel that this was the most likely option.

According to Sánchez’s mother, Celia, the chances that he is in an Iranian jail are very high, “99%”, but he also pointed out that the Spanish embassy told her daughter that they cannot confirm it.

“Until they go to jail to see him, see what they need and have permission from the Iranian government, they cannot officially give that news,” he said.

The police summoned the parents to provide the dental record, personal items such as a toothbrush and photos of Santiago’s tattoos, which they will send to Interpol, he explained.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Sánchez was in Iran and that his embassy in Tehran was urgently seeking information on his whereabouts in order to provide him with consular assistance.

They indicated in a statement that the embassy has been in permanent contact with the Iranian authorities since it became aware of the disappearance.

Iran is engulfed in the largest protests in the history of its clerical leadership following the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, who was detained by the morality police in Tehran for “inappropriate clothing”. and died in custody.

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