Qatar 2022Iranian players did not sing the national anthem
Following their captain, Iran’s eleven opted not to sing the national anthem during their 2022 World Cup match against England.
Eleven Iranian players abstained from singing their national anthem before the start of their first match of the 2022 World Cup against England on Monday in Doha.
Earlier that week, their captain Alireza Jahanbaksh explained that the players would “collectively” decide whether or not to sing the national anthem in support of the victims of the heavily suppressed protests in their country.
During this song, the cameras briefly showed the face of a spectator in her fifties, a white veil over her head, her face bathed in tears.
The players kept their faces completely impassive, and on the bench, a member of the delegation sang. The star of the team did not like Sardar Azmoon, who declined physically and condemned the repression on social networks.
A symbolic gesture
“Women Live Freedom,” read a banner in English at the stand occupied by the Iranians, which was retracted and soon disappeared.
Since the beginning of the uprising in Iran, with the death on September 16 of young Mahza Amini (22 years old), who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for disobeying the regime’s strict dress code, refusal to sing the Islamic Republic’s anthem has become one of the levers used by Iranian athletes to show their support for the movement.
On 27 September, the national football team refused to sing the song before a World Cup friendly in Austria against Senegal (1–1). Dressed in black parkas with no crests and concealing the Confederate insignia, the soldiers remained silent, most with their heads bowed.
This symbolic gesture, sometimes wearing a black armband as a sign of mourning, has been adopted by many Iranian athletes during competitions abroad.
On November 6, during an international beach soccer match in Dubai, one of the most prestigious in the discipline, the Iranian team also followed “Team Melli”, forcing state television to halt live broadcasts.
At the end of the final, won against Brazil (2-1), the players remained silent while receiving the trophy. The author of the winning goal, Said Bramon, for his part, pretended to cut hair with his fingers to show his solidarity with the protest movement and women in Iran.
Ex-players support protesters
Feyenoord Rotterdam striker Alireza Jahanbaksh said on Wednesday that whether or not to celebrate a potential goal during the World Cup would be a “personal” choice.
Off the field, many athletes, former or still active, wrote messages of support for the protesters on social networks. One of the most active in the matter is former Bayern Munich player Ali Karimi, who lives abroad and had his house seized by the authorities. He later turned down an invitation from FIFA and World Cup organizers to travel to Qatar to watch the match, as did Iranian football legend Ali Daei.
On Sunday, an Iranian judge announced that he had issued a summons to Yahya Golmohammadi, a former international and current coach of the Persepolis club, Esteghlal, who criticized the national team’s players last week on Instagram. Not to “bring the voice of the oppressed to the ears of the authorities” after meeting with ultra-conservative President Ibrahim Raisi shortly before their departure for Qatar and the World Cup.
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