Iran national football team refuses to sing national anthem at World Cup match

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Iran
Iran’s men’s national football team only stood in silence when the country’s national anthem was being played. (Source: Twitter @ESPNFC)

Jakarta, IO – Something unexpected happened ahead of the Iran vs. England match in Group B of 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Iranian national football team remained silent when their national anthem was playing.

Team captain Ehsan Hajsafi and his teammates only put on serious faces without even a smile at the Khalifa International Stadium, Monday (21/11). Instead, the fans could be heard booing the anthem from the spectators’ stands.

What’s happening? It turned out that the players were protesting against the repressive Iranian government and expressed solidarity with the anti-government protests taking place after the death of Mahsa Amini, reported the Guardian, Tuesday (22/11).

Mahsa Amini died after being detained by local police for refusing to comply with the strict dress code in Iran which adheres to Islamic law. The protests have been going on in the country since last September.

The actions of the Iranian players also received support, for example from Sardar Azmoun. The Bayer Leverkusen player received a standing ovation when he entered in the second half. He is one of the players who vociferously voiced his protests.