Despite having never progressed to the knockout stages of the World Cup, Iran is expected to face England and Wales in group B of the 2022 tournament. These are two teams that have been in the news recently, both due to recent protests in their own countries.
The Iranian football team has been speaking out in support of recent protests in their country. It has been said that many of their players have shown a level of support that may have been considered unusual in the past. Some players have even gone so far as to speak out on social media about their support for protests against the regime.
The most recent protests in Iran started in September, after the death of a young Kurdish woman in custody of morality police in Tehran. In the ensuing months, the protests have continued to escalate, and have led to calls for Iran to be expelled from the 2022 World Cup. The Ukrainian Association of Football has also called for Iran to be excluded from the tournament.
Some players in Iran have also voiced their support for the protests, but the most visible gesture came during the World Cup. Players stood in silence during the national anthem before the game against England, and some even refused to recite the anthem.
It is believed that these players stood in silence for the most part because they were unsure of what the crowd was saying. They may have been reluctant to speak out, or they may have been concerned with the reaction from the Qatari government. A T-shirt worn by Mehdi Torabi, a player from the Iran national soccer team, revealed the message.
There are also reports that there are significant numbers of empty seats in the stadium, and that the World Cup organisers are fudging crowd figures. There are also reports that women are being denied entry to sports grounds in Iran. Some have even been arrested for supposedly reporting on the sport. This has raised concerns about the country’s ability to host the World Cup, and the rights of women to be in stadiums.
One of the biggest challenges to the clerical leadership of Iran since the 1979 revolution is the ongoing protests. Some say the largest protests are the ones sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. A 22-year-old Kurdish girl, Amini was arrested and later died. The government has responded to the protests with heavy repression, stifling the movement and limiting the number of participants.
The most exciting moment of the game was the penalty kick in the 82nd minute. It was Gareth Bale’s goal which saw Wales come back from a 1-0 deficit to draw 1-1 against the USA. In addition to Gareth Bale’s goal, Bakayo Saka and Marcus Rashford scored goals, while Jude Bellingham also scored.
The Iranian national football team also showed their support for the uprising by letting their opponents score. Iran have not advanced to the knockout stages of the World Cup, but their first game against England is scheduled for November 21.