Sports

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”.

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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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