Iran is playing their first World Cup match against England at the time of writing, with the English leading 6-1.
But even before kick-off, the Iranian players made their mark.
protest against the system
Iranian players kept silent as the national anthem was played in Doha. Then Iranian state television chose to censor the images, reports iranintl.com.
– It is clear that they (the system, the magazines.) are not happy about it, if they feel that it is a demonstration against what is going on there, says NRK football expert Tette Lidbom.
After the death of Mohsa “Gina” Amini in the custody of the moral police for allegedly improperly wearing a hijab, demonstrations against the regime broke out in Iran. Several hundred demonstrators have been killed and the authorities have arrested thousands. The Kurdish regions in particular have been hit hard.
Fans chanted “immoral” and “shame” from the stands during the match, while holding a flag that read “Woman, Life, Freedom”, a slogan used in demonstrations in Iran.
Defender Ihsan Hejafi said during the press conference, today, Sunday, that the team will devote its efforts in the World Cup to the people.
– We are here to work hard, fight and do our best on the field, score goals and dedicate them to the grieving people of Iran. I hope the situation will go in the direction people want and everyone will be happy,” the 32-year-old said at the press conference.
– They stand next to the woman
– It’s really hard for us to get into it. Those who feel a sense of nationalism probably have a clearer connection with the fact that there is a strong protest against the established order, says Christopher Luckberg, World Cup expert at NRK.
– I feel it’s a sign that they, as players and teams, don’t represent that system, that they’re on the side of women. It will probably be strong enough to use your World Cup opening match for that. It may be difficult for them to do more in the current situation. He continues: They want to stand behind them, while they are not concerned with the regime.
Ledbohm agrees with his colleague:
– Before the start of the match, the Iranian players showed their desire to shed light on what is happening in Iran and the demonstrations there by not singing. It turned out to be a very strong show that they put on here. There is something to be heard. Many Iranian voices appreciate the work they do here.
Earlier on Monday, it became clear that the seven European teams behind the ‘OneLove’ campaign would not be fitted with the same inscription captain’s armband for fear of sporting sanctions from FIFA.
– What the players do here is more difficult. They don’t get a yellow card here, but it could have other consequences. This shows they stand by their country, says Lidbaum.
He doesn’t want to see his national team in the WC
Last week, NRK reported that many Iranian football personalities did not want to see their homeland in the World Cup.
– How can I watch football when my neighbor, my brother, my countryman and my countryman are not feeling well, former Iran coach Jalal Talabi said, according to The New York Times.
Former Mjondalen goalkeeper Sosha Makani said the following to NRK:
– I have no comment on the team, as it is the government’s team, not the people’s. I think that the Islamic Republic of Iran national football team does not deserve to participate in the World Cup, and it can be replaced by Ukraine or Italy.
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