Iran Soccer Team Stays Silent During National Anthem At World Cup Opener

Some Iranian fans booed the anthem as it played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.
Iran national football team players pose ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • At the World Cup opener against England, players on Iran’s national soccer team refused to sing their national anthem in apparent protest of the theocratic government’s violent crackdown on widespread protests.
  • The players stood defiantly silent and stone-faced with their arms around each other’s shoulders.
  • Since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September, who died in police custody after violating Iran’s strict dress code laws, the country has been gripped by nationwide protests.

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