FIFA WC: Iran Players Refuse to Sing National Anthem in Match Against England

All 11 players stood silently, allegedly in protest against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as the anthem played.

2 min read
Hindi Female

In an apparent show of solidarity for anti-hijab protestors in Iran, the national football team chose not to sing the national anthem before their first match against England at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Monday, 21 November. 

What happened? All 11 players starting the match, in an act of protest against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stood silently as the clerical regime’s national anthem played in Qatar’s Khalifa International Stadium. 

What did the team say? Before the match, captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh said that the team would “collectively” decide whether or not to refuse to sing the national anthem in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Iran. 


Earlier, defender Ehsan Hajsaf opened up about the protest and said: 

"They should know that we are with them. And we support them. And we sympathise with them regarding the conditions," the AEK Athens player was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We have to accept the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy. We are here but it does not mean we should not be their voice or we should not respect them,” Hindustan Times reported. 

Iran’s players have previously expressed support for the demonstrations as well, which were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody of Iran’s morality police, for allegedly wearing her Hijab inappropriately. 

While some of the players donned black jackets during a friendly match this year, others have chosen not to celebrate the goals they score for the national side. 

Not only in football, Iranian national sides in other sides have also refused to sing the national anthem at recent event, in a show of support for thousands of protesters back in Iran.

Amini, an Iranian of Kurdish origin, died on 16 September, three days following her arrest, in Tehran over an alleged breach of Iran’s dress code of women, which constitutes  mandatorily wearing the hijab headscarf

(With inputs from Reuters and Hindustan Times)

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