Iran team sing anthem against Wales in World Cup game but protests continue


The Athletic has live coverage of Wales vs Iran at the 2022 World Cup.

The Iran team sang the national anthem ahead of their game against Wales, having protested during the previous game by remaining silent.

Failure to sing the national anthem is popularly seen as a tacit act of resistance.



Iranian state television censors players protesting anthem at World Cup

There have been widespread protests against Iran’s conservative clerical leadership, which has ruled the country since 1979.

These protests were provoked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September, a 22-year-old woman who was killed by the morality police for wearing her hijab incorrectly.

The Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group says that at least 326 people have been killed across 22 provinces, including 43 children.

iran protest

A woman holds up a shirt in protest at the death of Mahsa Amini during Wales vs Iran (Photo: Getty Images)

On Monday, none of the Iranian team sang the anthem ahead of a 6-2 defeat to England, with The Athletic revealing that the protest was censored in Iran, with state television channel Irib TV3 instead cutting to a wide shot.

Throughout the broadcast, whenever the chant “bisharaf”, meaning “dishonourable”, was heard, the sound from the stadium was cut.

Iranian players have been criticised by protestors, who have said they should have spoken out earlier, and more vociferously. However, these players are under surveillance, and risk jail for speaking out.

On Friday, most of the team sang the anthem, though some were visibly in tears and others appeared to be barely moving their lips.

Irib TV3 did not censor the anthem on Friday, though they only cut to a close shot of the players after it became evident the players were singing. Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun, the first two players in line, were not shown.

Iran could be eliminated from the tournament on Friday with a loss.



Why are Iran players and fans protesting during the World Cup?

(Photo: Getty Images)


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