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Iran team sing national anthem at World Cup

Some Iranian fans were in tears as their national team was singing the anthem Friday, while a man wearing a jersey declaring support for anti-government protesters in Iran was escorted in by security officers.

Iran's midfielder #21 Ahmad Noorollahi, Iran's midfielder #07 Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Iran's forward #09 Mehdi Taremi listen to the national anthem ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Nov. 21, 2022. (Credit: Fadel Senna/AFP)

Iran's team sang the national anthem before Friday's World Cup match against Wales, having opted not to do so in their tournament opener in Qatar.

The Iranian players had stood impassively during their anthem before their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters in the Islamic republic.

Read more:

Iran team do not sing national anthem before their first game

An AFP photographer at the stadium on Friday witnessed security staff confiscating a flag from a fan with the protest slogan "Woman, Life, Freedom."

Some Iranian fans were in tears during the singing of the anthem.

Iran forward Mehdi Taremi denied on Thursday that his team had come "under pressure" from their government to sing the anthem at the World Cup. "I don't like to talk about political issues, but we are not under any pressure," Taremi said on the eve of the Wales game.

Man wearing pro-Iran protest shirt escorted 

Also on Friday, a man wearing a jersey declaring support for anti-government protesters in Iran was escorted by security officers into the stadium.

Reuters could not immediately confirm why the man, wearing a shirt declaring "Women, Life, Freedom," was being accompanied by three security officers in blue.

Read more:

Iranians protest nationwide, mark 'Bloody Friday'

The media liaison at the stadium for world governing body FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the stadium media manager was not aware of the incidents but would respond later.

A spokesperson for the organizing supreme committee referred Reuters to FIFA and Qatar's list of prohibited items, but without saying which prohibited item the fan was carrying. The rules ban items with "political, offensive, or discriminatory messages."

Inside the stadium, a woman with dark red tears painted from her eyes held aloft a soccer jersey with "Mahsa Amini - 22" printed on the back - a reference to the 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman whose death in police custody two months ago ignited the nationwide protests in Iran, a Reuters photo showed.

An Iran supporter poses for photographs ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and Iran on Nov. 25, 2022. (Credit: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP)

A man standing next to her held a shirt printed with the words "WOMEN, LIFE, FREEDOM," one of the main chants of the protests. Another supporter held an Iranian flag with the words "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), scored through with black lines as a security man stood nearby apparently pointing at him.

Iran has been shaken by two months of nationwide protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on Sept. 16.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian of Kurdish origin, died three days after her arrest in Tehran over an alleged breach of the dress code for women, which includes the mandatory headscarf.

The government crackdown since Amini's death has left at least 400 people dead, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

The state's response has led to questions over whether the team represents Iran or the regime that has ruled with an iron fist since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.


Iran's team sang the national anthem before Friday's World Cup match against Wales, having opted not to do so in their tournament opener in Qatar.

The Iranian players had stood impassively during their anthem before their 6-2 defeat to England on Monday in an apparent gesture of solidarity with anti-government protesters in the Islamic republic. Read...