Two of Iran Professional League football matches were postponed due to poor air quality conditions in Tehran, the capital of Iran.
The games between Tehran’s teams and clubs visiting from Mashhad and Tabriz were rescheduled for Tuesday after the environmental authority recommended avoiding all outdoor sports activities, an Iranian news agency stated.
Peak pollution hit highs in some areas of Tehran last week, where air conditions are worsened due to high altitude in a gorge surrounded by high mountains. Iran had to close all schools for three days as air pollution rose to more than three times above the acceptable level.
Lawmakers have criticized the government on Sunday for its response to the situation.
"In the last two years, it has been said that the cause of air pollution was imported petrol," said Hamid Rasaie, an Iranian parliament member. "What is the reason now?"
Mehdi Chamran, chairman of Tehran City Council, announced last Tuesday that air pollution in Iran’s capital claims 180 lives every day. The fatality rates in the country have risen just recently due to the high pollution in the capital city. Eighty percent of air pollution in Tehran, which boasts a population of 14 million in its megacity, is blamed on exhaust fumes from more than 5 million cars and just as many motorbikes.
As police takes measures to fine or tow away any smoke-belching vehicles seen on the road, the city council criticizes government and says closing schools and halting sand mining operations are not permanent solution to keep the atmosphere clean.