Doha (Daily Pakistan Online) Iran’s football team refused to sing the national anthem before the match against England in the FIFA World Cup to express solidarity with the ongoing protest movement in the country.
According to Reuters, when the national anthem was played before the match against England at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar, the players remained silent, while thousands of Iranian fans continued to shout, some mocked while others showed thumbs down, people in the Islamic country. had accused the team of supporting a violent state crackdown on ongoing protests in the country.
The Iranian football squad has long been a source of national pride in Iran but has been mired in politics at the World Cup. The Iranians could not silence the spectators who continued to beat the drums.
Even before the match, no Iranian player supported the protests, which included people from all walks of life, the biggest challenge since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, to watch the World Cup. “We are all sad because our people are being killed in Iran, but we are proud of our team because they did not sing the national anthem,” said an Iranian fan on condition of anonymity.
Since the arrest and death in custody of 22-year-old Mehsa Amini for a dress code violation two months ago, protesters have been calling for the government’s overthrow. Dozens of Iranian celebrities, athletes and artists have shown solidarity with the protesters But the football team did not show their support before the match on Monday when all team members remained silent during the playing of the national anthem.
The football team met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi before arriving in Doha, with Iranian players pictured bowing to him as demonstrations continued in the streets.