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After Iran bans two soccer stars for playing against Israelis; fans rush to their defense

Two soccer players have been barred for life from Iran’s national team after they appeared in a match against players from Israel, prompting anger among the sport’s many fans in the Islamic Republic.Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Haji Safi played last week in a European league match for the Greek team Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv, an Israeli club. That appeared to violate a longstanding rule prohibiting Iranian athletes from competing against opponents from Israel, a nation that the Iranian government doesn’t recognize.After the match, a Farsi-language Twitter account maintained by the Israeli foreign ministry posted a message: “Well done to Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Haji Safi who broke the taboo of ...