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Iranian Protests

Iranian Soccer Team Refuses To Sing The National Anthem At The World Cup

Darafsh, CC BY-SA 4.0
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QATAR (CelebrityAccess) — Iranian football players refused to sing the nation’s national anthem ahead of a World Cup soccer match in Qatar, demonstrating support for ongoing protests seeking civil rights for women in the Islamic nation.

According to NBC News, the team stood in a line with arms draped over each other’s shoulders before their opening match against England, but instead of singing the national anthem when the music played, they stared straight ahead.

The refusal to sing the national anthem appears to have been a coordinated protest and follows a statement from the team’s captain, Ehsan Hajsafi, expressing condolences to “all the bereaved families of Iran” in the wake of numerous arrests and deaths.

In a statement, Hajsafi said: “We are here but it does not mean that we should not be their voice, or we must not respect them. Whatever we have is from them. We have to fight, we have to perform the best we can and score goals, and present the brave people of Iran with the results. And I hope that the conditions change to the expectations of the people.”

Iran has been riven by protests for months, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested in September by Iran’s morality police for improperly wearing a head scarf.

According to the non-partisan Iran Human Rights, at least 400 protestors, including 47 minors have been killed and thousands injured during the ongoing unrest.

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