26 Oct, 2022 @ 13:30
1 min read

Missing Spanish football fan trying to walk to Qatar may have been arrested in Iran

Missing Spanish man
A photo from Santiago Sánchez Cogedor's Instagram account of his journey.

A SPANISH football fan who is trying to walk from Spain to Qatar to see the World Cup could be in an Iranian jail. That’s according to the Iran International television channel, which reported that Santiago Sánchez Cogedor may have been arrested along with his translator while making the epic journey. 

Santiago left his home in the Madrid city of Alcalá de Henares on January 8, according to Spanish daily El Mundo, and was trying to reach Qatar in the first week of November. 

But his family lost contact with him on October 2, when he was in the Kurdish area of Iraq, some five kilometres from the border with Iran. 

Sánchez, who was previously in the military, was planning on contributing to social causes along his journey through Europe and Asia, in particular those related to the environment. 

A friend of Sánchez, a man named Miguel Bergado, told El Mundo that the last message sent by the football fan read: “This is hot, but everything’s OK.” Bergado believes that Sánchez was referring to the political situation in the country, which has been rocked by a series of demonstrations by women who are protesting against the Iranian government. 

“My feeling is that because of the political issues they have stopped him or detained him in Iran because he is from abroad, until the situation calms down,” Bergado told the newspaper.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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