Iran: Spanish football fan arrested while walking to Qatar for FIFA – The Siasat Daily

  • October 31, 2022

A spanish traveller and football fan, Santiago Sanchez Cogedor, who set out to walk from Madrid to Qatar to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022, has been allegedly arrested in Iran.
41-year-old Santiago Sanchez Cogedor, disappeared three weeks ago after entering Iran, has been arrested in the city of Saqez along with his translator, when visiting the grave of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in custody on September 16, after being arrested for wearing the hijab improperly, Iran International reported.
Protests have swept across Iran since Amini, died.
بر اساس گزارش‌های رسیده به ایران اینترنشنال، سانتیاگو سانچز، هوادار #فوتبال اهل اسپانیا، که از سه هفته پیش و پس از ورود به ایران ناپدید شده بود، در شهر سقز و بر سر مزار #مهسا_امینی بازداشت شده. گفته می‌شود او به همراه مترجمش بازداشت و پس از آن، به تهران منتقل شده است. pic.twitter.com/feFtA5zyAk
On January 8, Santiago Sanchez began his journey on foot to Qatar from Alcala de Henares and shared frequent updates through video and pictures on his social media accounts.
Walking at least 15 kilometers a day was the minimum established by Santiago Sanchez, who often doubled the distance of the daily route, in an attempt to get to Qatar as quickly as possible and be able to watch the first game of the team led by Luis Enrique.
This adventurer has been traveling on foot through 15 countries and Iran was his last place before reaching his destination. During all this time, the Spaniard was contacting his family and friends to update them on his status.
The family of Santiago lost track of him the day after he crossed the Iraqi border with Iran, on October 2.
A post shared by CAMINANDO DE MADRID A QATAR (@santiago_sanchez_cogedor)
In his last post on October 1, from the last village in northern Iraq, he shared pictures of his day spent playing football with local kids and of being invited to eat with a family. 
“Travel, but don’t run away from anything but yourself. Lose yourself to find yourself,” Santiago Sanchez wrote in his latest Instagram post.
A post shared by CAMINANDO DE MADRID A QATAR (@santiago_sanchez_cogedor)
The last known location of his whereabouts is on a road in Penjwin (Iraq) , just five kilometers from the border with Iran and near a mountain where he was going to spend the night.
His mother, Celia Cogedor, spoke to Spain’s Trece channel late Thursday confirming that they had not heard from him for nearly a month, but the news was finally received of his arrest.
As per the media reports, the family has been informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that  the Iranian authorities have confirmed Sánchez’s arrest , without the reasons being clear for now, and have let them know that “he is in good health”.
The Spanish embassy in Iran has requested that the Spanish diplomatic staff be able to visit him “as soon as possible” and initiate the steps for his release.
FIFA World Cup 2022 will start on November 20, with the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium in the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East and the Arab world.
A post shared by CAMINANDO DE MADRID A QATAR (@santiago_sanchez_cogedor)
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