Qatar 2022: Iran's Players refused to sing their National AnthemSports | November 21, 2022, Monday // 18:08| views
Iran's players refused to sing their national anthem as boos rung out from fans in the stands ahead of their first game of the Qatar World Cup against England today.
The Iranian national squad stood stony-faced as the anthem played at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday, in an apparent sign of solidarity with protests currently engulfing the country back home.
Meanwhile audible jeers and boos were heard by supporters in the crowd, who were also seen waving banners supporting the demonstrators.
Iran has been wracked by more than two months of anti-regime demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody after she was arrested for failing to wear a compulsory hijab.
Since then, near-daily marches have taken place calling for an end to the country's strict interpretation of Islamic laws and the overthrow of the mullah's regime.
News out of the country is limited amid widespread internet outages, but it is thought hundreds - if not thousands - of demonstrators have been killed by security forces in an increasingly violent crackdown.
Iran's national team have signalled support for the protesters in recent weeks, with captain Ehsan Hajsafi declaring 'our people are not happy' at a pre-match press conference.
Striker Sardar Azmoun also refused to celebrate an equalizer against Senegal in a pre-tournament friendly, and multiple players have also changed their profile pictures to a black space as a sign of solidarity.
In an effort to restrict large gatherings, Iran has closed all soccer matches to the public since the protests erupted.
The reason for authorities' fear became apparent as fans filtered into the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Monday.
Many Iran fans wore T-shirts or waving signs printed with the mantra of the uprising - 'Woman, Life, Freedom.'/DailyMail
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