Iranian football matches postponed due to pollution
Iran cancels two football games over pollution
Tehran’s Environment Authority recommended rescheduling two football matches in Iran’s premier league from Sunday to Tuesday due to very high levels of pollution detected in the air of the Iranian capital.
The Guardian newspaper quoted Iran’s regime-linked Fars news agency as saying that the Environment Authority called to refrain from all sport activities while the smog remained.">Local authorities had already closed schools for three days in and near the capital due to severe air pollution earlier in the week. An official told state television that the Air Quality Index in Tehran stood at 132 on Sunday, far higher than the World Health Organization’s advised level of between zero and 50, and advised the elderly, the sick and children to stay indoors.
The 5 million cars and almost equal number of motorcycles on the roads of Tehran are responsible for 80% of its pollution, which increases in winter when the emissions are unable to rise above cold air, officials said.
Iranian MPs criticized the government for their lack of response to the situation. MP Hamid Rasaie said that the government had blamed imported petrol for causing the pollution over the past two years, but asked, “What is the reason now?”
The country’s health ministry said that pollution contributed to the premature deaths of 4,500 in Tehran and 80,000 nationwide in 2012.
By Keren Preiskel
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