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FIFA World Cup 2022- Iran team stay silent during national anthem; chose the grandest stage to protest against country’s governance

Iran’s World Cup Football team refused to sing their national anthem before the World Cup match against England as a sign of support to the anti-government protesters in the country.

Since the death of 22-year old woman Mahsa Amini in police custody in Tehran two months ago, there has been continuous protest in Iran. Amini was arrested after allegedly violating Islamic dress codes. Iranian women are denied many freedoms – including attending Football matches. There had also been calls for FIFA to kick the team out of the World Cup 2022 because their regime is supplying drones to Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Protesters are demanding the fall of the ruling Shi’ite Muslim theocracy and it has been reported that hundreds of protestors have died in the capital and other cities. Many Iranian public figures, athletes and artists have displayed solidarity with the protesters. Before the start o the World Cup, the captain of the national Football team, Jahanbakhsh remarked that the members of the national team were hoping to take a “collective” decision about refusing to sing the anthem in the World Cup opener.

On the match day against England, the Iranian players refused to sing the national anthem and kept their faces totally impassive. However, the Iranian state television did not show the players lined up for the anthem before the match. A group of Iranian fans have made no secret of their solidarity with the unrest by displaying a placard which read: “Woman, Life, Freedom.”

Iran are appearing in their sixth World Cup but they have never made it past the group stage.

 

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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