« Back to articlePrint this article

Iranian Team Refuse To Sing National Anthem

November 21, 2022 19:25 IST

IMAGE: Iran's players line up during the national anthems before the game.
They did not sing the Iranian national anthem in an apparent show of support for anti-government protesters back home. Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

A courageous Iran soccer team chose not to sing their country's national anthem before their opening World Cup match against England on Monday, November 21, 2022, in an apparent show of support for protesters back home.

All the starting 11 players were silent as the anthem was played at the Khalifa international stadium in Doha.

This act of defiance could attract jail-time for the players.

Earlier, Iranian Captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh had said the team would decide 'collectively' whether to refuse to sing in support of anti-government protesters.

More than two months of nationwide protests, sparked by the death of a young woman in the custody of Iran's morality police, are among the boldest challenges posed to the ayatollahs since the 1979 Islamic revolution.