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Iran’s gamers sang their nationwide anthem earlier than Friday’s World Cup recreation in opposition to Wales after not doing so earlier than their opener in opposition to England.
As the gamers joined in with the anthem on Friday, loud jeers might be heard from Iran followers within the stadium.
Mass protests in Iran in latest months have been met with a fierce crackdown.
They have been sparked by the demise in custody in September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict guidelines round head coverings.
A lady within the crowd in opposition to Wales had darkish crimson tears painted beneath her eyes and held a soccer jersey with “Mahsa Amini – 22” printed on it, whereas a person standing subsequent to her has the slogan ‘girls, life, freedom’ on his high.
Shaimaa Khalil, BBC News in Doha, Qatar
Outside the stadium, Ali – who did not wish to use his actual title – spoke to me carrying a T-shirt with the protest slogan “women, life, freedom” written on it in Persian. He had travelled from Tehran to Doha to look at his nationwide crew.
“Every day we go to protest, but the regime is bigger and they have more power, they have guns. We are with bare hands,” he stated.
Ali informed me the protesters have hope however are “frightened” and feeling “alone”, and added that they wanted help from the remainder of the world.
The nationwide crew has come beneath a substantial amount of strain and been criticised for not doing sufficient to help the protesters. Ali stated that, whereas he needs them to do nicely, he finds it “very difficult” to help the crew or give attention to the soccer. He stated: “When [I] see my brothers and sisters on the streets in blood, how can I focus? How can I be happy?”
Earlier within the week, Iran captain Ehsan Hajsafi acknowledged that the scenario within the nation was “very bad” and that individuals have been “not happy”. He additionally paid tribute to those that have died.
But on Thursday, throughout their pre recreation information convention, Mehdi Taremi refused to interact with any questions in regards to the scenario in his nation.
Iran’s gamers are in a troublesome place. They’re on the world’s largest stage, representing a rustic in deep political turmoil the place anti-government protesters have been killed and arrested. They’re being requested to have a stronger stance in help of the protesters, however something they are saying or do will possible have repercussions again dwelling.
All the whereas, the gamers have the essential job of performing nicely, with the hope of delivering a victory on the soccer pitch.
Human rights activists have stated greater than 400 protesters have been killed and 16,800 others arrested in a crackdown by Iran’s safety forces.
Iran’s leaders say the protests are “riots” orchestrated by the nation’s overseas enemies.
Before Friday’s recreation, Iran striker Mehdi Taremi stated the gamers have been “not under any pressure” after not singing the anthem in opposition to England.
“The fact is that we have come here to play football – not only us, but all the players who are present in Qatar have come here to play football,” he added.
“I cannot change anything; thousands of other people like me cannot change anything.”
Iran supervisor Carlos Queiroz, who’s from Portugal, was sitting subsequent to Taremi on the information convention and stated: “It’s your right to do those questions, but what what I feel strange, as a normal citizen of the world, is you don’t ask the same kind of questions to the other coaches and other national teams, knowing that they have so many problems at home, and cause so many problems all over the world.”
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