"In this World Cup, you see a meaningful correlation between politics and diplomacy and football," Mottaki was quoted as saying by "Tehran Emrouz" newspaper.
"Those who played a key role in new sanctions against Iran, such as America, England, and France, were eliminated in the early stages," he said. "And some countries that were somehow involved in sanctions did not get into higher rounds.”
In reaction to Motaki's comments, blogger “kelk” wrote:
A member of the opposition Green Movement addressed Iranian officials, including Mottaki, on his Facebook page and wrote:
Another said “the curse of the Iranian people people afflicted Brazil.”
A journalist supporter of the opposition movement had a similar message on his Facebook page:
Blogger “Kouroshshahanshah” asked Mottaki:
Tell me, Manuch, why did Brazil lose? They voted against [the sanctions]. Lula voted against them...Take the members of the Brazil football team to Kahrizak [a detention center where at least three postelection detainees died as the result of torture] so that they are taught a lesson.
Blogger Hamid Reza says the Iranian government has declared three days of public mourning after the elimination from the World Cup of its brother country Brazil, who didn’t support sanctions.
Iranians love football, and even though the Iranian football team did not qualify for the World Cup, many have been watching the matches in South Africa with great enthusiasm.
One young Iranian woman and fervent football lover in Tehran told RFE/RL that watching the games makes her forget some of the frustrations caused by last year’s disputed presidential vote and its bloody aftermath. She said she cheered for Holland and was happy that Brazil had been eliminated.
"Brazil has been very supportive of Ahmadinejad," she said. "We are against whoever supports him."
Another Iranian football fan -- a supporter of Brazil -- said he believes sport and politics shouldn't be mixed.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari