World Cup 2022. Iranian players did not sing the anthem, they may face repression

World Cup 2022. Iranian players did not sing the anthem, they may face repression

Iranian players may have a problem after returning to the country from the World Cup in Qatar. Before the match against England, they did not sing the national anthem, which, according to the British “Guardian”, did not please the authorities in Tehran. If the players do the same in subsequent matches, it is possible that they will face reprisals.

Ahead of Tuesday’s match between Iran and England none of the players of the Iranian national team sang national anthem. It was widely perceived that the behavior was intended as a symbol of support for the ongoing protests in the country, which began in September after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The girl was detained by the morality police because her headgear did not sufficiently cover her hair, and she died in police custody three days later. According to the family, she was beaten by the officers.

Iran players before the game against England

Iran players before the game against England Iran players before the game against England Getty Images

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Footballers’ support for Iranian protesters

Iranian captain Ehsan Haysafi expressed his support for the Iranian protesters ahead of the match against England. “We have to accept that conditions in our country are inadequate and people are unhappy. First of all, I would like to express my condolences to all the brave Iranian families. They should know that we are with them, support them and sympathize with them. We cannot deny that conditions in our country are bad. All our players know that,” he said.

Mehdi Chamran, chairman of the Tehran city council, criticized the behavior of the players. – We will never allow anyone to insult our anthem and flag. The history of Iranian civilization goes back several thousand years, this civilization is as old as European and American civilization combined, he said. The Guardian suggests that if players fail to sing the national anthem in their remaining World Cup matches, they could face reprisals when they return to their country. Iran’s next match is scheduled for Friday – the players will face Wales.

SEE ALSO: First the match, then the revolution. Can the World Cup in Qatar help Iran’s protesters?

State media blamed the campaign from abroad

Iranian state media paid little attention to the players’ behavior before the match, but noted that protesters in Iran were celebrating England’s victory. According to the “Guardian”, the recordings show crowds enjoying the success of English footballers and chanting the slogan “death to the dictator!” during the match. A restaurant in the Iranian capital that showed support for England on Instagram in the match was closed down by authorities on Tuesday.

The Kayhan newspaper, associated with the Iranian authorities, stated that “for many weeks, foreign media waged a ruthless and unprecedented psychological and media war against the team.” “No effort has been spared in this campaign to separate the Iranian people from the members of the Iranian national football team and to create false divisions,” the Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying.

SEE ALSO: Ali Khamenei on “overcoming opponents”, protests in Iran continue. Human rights defenders: over 400 protesters were killed

Main photo source: Getty Images

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