The Iranian football team have refused to sing the national anthem amid protests back in Iran that are calling for an end to the Islamic Regime.
Iran kicked off their FIFA World Cup campaign in Qatar where they were up against England yesterday.
Before the match began, the Iranian players could be seen standing side by side in solidarity as they remained completely silent for the duration of their anthem.
Although Iran lost to England 6-2 their demonstration prior to the match was welcomed by the crowd including one woman who could be seen crying.
This is what courage looks like
The Iranian football team refuses to sing the national anthem on biggest stage in the world
— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) November 21, 2022
Defender Ehsan Hajsafi said that it was imperative they show support for the people protesting back in Iran.
“We have to accept that conditions in our country are not right & our people are not happy. They should know that we are with them and we support them. We sympathize with them regarding the conditions,” he said.
“Whatever we have is from them and we have to fight, we have to perform the best we can and score goals and represent the people.”
Even though their demonstration at the World Cup was applauded, in the past few months their dealings with the Islamic Regime have come under fire.
Stones against bullets
the people of the world should know that this team does not belong to Iran, the team that is playing football today vs England in the name of Iran belongs to the regime that killed many people in the city of #Javanrud #Javanrud #ENGIRAN #Qatar2022 pic.twitter.com/hG1274yNdZ
— Bijan Nekoubin (@bijan_nekoubin) November 21, 2022
Before flying out to Qatar, they met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi ,with many protestors saying this was a wrong move. The teams banners were burned by demonstrators after the meeting.
In other shows of support, several European countries were going to wear OneLove armbands in support of the LGBTQI+ community which Qatar considers to be a crime.
Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, England, and Denmark were countries set to par take however it was made known by FIFA, teams players could be forced not to play if they did.
“As national federations we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions, including bookings,” said the teams.
Under FIFA rules, teams are not allowed to wear equipment that makes reference to political, religious or personal slogans, statements of images.
Openly gay Australian football Josh Cavallo said that FIFA has lost his respect for the move.
“All the work we’re doing to make football more inclusive you have shown that football isn’t a place for everyone,” he said.