Wales vs Iran, Iran players sing national anthem, protests, news, latest, flags

Iran’s team sang the national anthem before Friday’s World Cup match against Wales, having opted not to do so in their tournament opener in Qatar.

But fans booed and whistled throughout the anthem, with some in tears. Earlier, fans protesting against the Iranian government clashed with pro-government supporters outside the stadium.

The Iranian players had stood impassively during their anthem before their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters in the Islamic republic, something which drew a fierce response from government officials in Iran.

Richarlison brace sees Brazil down Serbs | 01:10

MORE WORLD CUP

WRAP: PL star’s ‘staggering’ strike as Brazil roars to life; Ronaldo’s epic response to brain fade

‘BETTER IF THEY TRIED TO WIN’: World Cup rival’s savage swipe at Germany over FIFA protest

‘GLAD CAHILL ISN’T PLAYING’: What Socceroos’ next World Cup rivals know and think about Australia

Mehdi Chamran, chairman of Tehran city council, said: “We will never allow anyone to insult our anthem and flag. Iranian civilization has a history of several thousand years, this civilization is as old as the total of European and American civilizations.”

And on Thursday, famous former footballer Voria Ghafouri was arrested in Iran after making social media posts calling on the government to stop killing Kurdish people, with his arrest widely viewed as a warning to the international team not to protest again.

MORE: Footballer arrested after Qatar World Cup protest

An Iran's supporter with blood tears make up on her face holds a football jersey reading the name of Mahsa Amini.
An Iran’s supporter with blood tears make up on her face holds a football jersey reading the name of Mahsa Amini.Source: AFP

But Iran forward Mehdi Taremi denied on Thursday that his team had come “under pressure” from their government to sing the anthem at the World Cup.

“I don’t like to talk about political issues, but we are not under any pressure,” Taremi said on the eve of the Wales game.

Supporters of Iran react to their national anthem during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 25, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)Source: AFP

UGLY FAN CLASHES BEFORE MATCH

An AFP photographer at the stadium on Friday witnessed security staff confiscating a flag from a fan with the protest slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom”.

According to AP, rival groups outside the stadium shouted opposing chants at each other: “Women, Life, Freedom” and “The Islamic Republic.”

AP reports that some Iran fans confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters, while others filmed and harassed women who were being interviewed about the protests.

Inside the stadium, some Iranian fans were in tears during the singing of the anthem. There were also widespread boos and jeers.

An Iran supporter poses with a T-shirt reading “Woman life freedom” prior to the match.Source: AFP

THE CONTEXT

Iran has been shaken by two months of nationwide protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on September 16.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died three days after her arrest in Tehran over an alleged breach of the dress code for women, which includes the mandatory hijab headscarf.

The crackdown since Amini’s death has left at least 400 people dead, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

The state’s response has led to questions over whether the team represents Iran or the regime that has ruled with an iron fist since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button