A FORMER Bayern Munich star has fled to America to escape death threats after the government seized his house.

Former Iran international Ali Karimi won a German league and cup double with Bayern in 2006.

He scored four goals in 42 appearances across two seasons for the Bavarian giants and also played for Schalke as well as top clubs in Iran, UAE and Qatar.

Playmaker Karimi won 127 caps and captained Iran.

But the 44-year-old has come under fire since publicly supporting anti-government protests in Iran last year.

Dubai-based Karimi was charged in his absence with encouraging riots, and the Iranian state seized his house near Tehran.


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The former striker-turned-coach has now moved to the USA for his own safety.

He revealed his plight via video link during an event at Germany's Football Museum on Monday.

Karimi said: "I have received death threats from various quarters.

"For this reason, I have felt compelled to move even further away from Iran.

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"I had moved to Dubai, and now I have had to relocate once again.

"It is a dreadful feeling to have to live in exile."

Karimi had lent his support to the Woman, Life, Freedom movement that rose to prominence after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in Iranian police custody in September 2022.

He added: "I hope the movement is successful. International players always have a place in their fans' hearts.

"When you have a platform like this, to my mind it is every sportsman's duty to stand up against social concerns.

"It is my wish that every athlete finds themselves on the right side of history, and commits themselves to the Woman, Life, Freedom movement.

"No athlete should boycott events like the Olympic Games, as they offer the only opportunity to spread the voice of the Iranian people."

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