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A man who hopes to meet up with the Spanish national football team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, has gone missing in Iran.

Spain’s foreign ministry has confirmed that 41-year-old Santiago Sanchez was last heard from on 1 October when he entered Iran after walking through Iraq.

Spanish news outlets have suggested that Sanchez was arrested by local authorities in Iran during the unrest that erupted a few weeks ago.

Celia, Sanchez’s mother, told Spanish media that they believe he might be in an Iranian prison.

“A 99% chance that he is in a prison in Iran, but the (Spanish) embassy has told my daughter that until they go to the prison to see him and have the permission of the Iranian government, they cannot give that news.”

Sanchez’s parents were asked by Spanish police to provide them with dental records, personal items and photos of his tattoos. These will be sent to Interpol in case they have to identify him.

RTE reports that Sanchez left Madrid in January, travelling across Europe and Turkey, sleeping in a tent, hotels and well-wishers’ homes, before entering Iraq. He told Reuters in Zakho in Iraqi Kurdistan last month that he hoped he might meet the Spanish team and inspire them to victory in the 2022 World Cup.

Image credit: LatestLY

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