WC22: Iran players decline to sing national anthem

Doha, Nov 22 (UNI): Iran declined to sing their national anthem before their World Cup match with England in an apparent show of support for anti-government protests in their home country.

Some fans shouted and jeered during the anthem and others held up signs saying “Woman, Life, Freedom”.


Iran state TV cut its coverage on Monday of the anthem and switched to a previously shown wide shot of the stadium.

Speaking about the incident at half-time, former English footballer Gary Lineker told BBC: “It was a powerful and very, very significant gesture. Football is trying to use its power for good.”

Mass protests have been met with a fierce crackdown in recent months across Iran. They have been sparked by the death in custody in September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict rules around head coverings.

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