Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2022. 9:37 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Monday, the Iranian World Cup team declined to sing their country’s national anthem at the opening of the World Cup in a sign of support for mass protests in Iran, Reuters report.
Protests erupted 2 months ago after the death of young Mahsa Amini after her arrest for flouting the strict Islamic dress code.
The players remained silent as the anthem played before their game with England at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.
During the playing of the national anthem, thousands of Iranian fans shouted, some jeered and others made thumbs-down gestures.
Before the game, no Iranian player had commented on the protests.
An Iranian fan at the World Cup who spoke to Reuters expressed sadness for what is happening in Iran.
“All of us are sad because our people are being killed in Iran but all of us are proud of our team because they did not sing the national anthem – because it’s not our national (anthem), it’s only for the regime,” the Iranian fan said.
Before traveling to Qatar, the team met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
Photos of the players with Raisi, one of them bowing in front of him, went viral while the street unrest raged on, prompting an outcry on social media.
Reports in Iran said that as of Saturday, 410 protesters had been killed in the unrest including 58 minors.
Many Iranian fans who went to Qatar for the World Cup help up banners that read “Women, Life, Freedom” in support of the protests.
“Freedom for Iran. Stop killing children in the streets!” shouted one Iranian woman.
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