For Iran, the World Cup opener was more than a game — it was an act of defiance
Iran players stood silent at the World Cup as their country’s national anthem played while fans booed
Why did Iran’s players stand silent during their national anthem?
For Iran, this was more than a soccer game — it was an act of defiance. The Guardian reports that not a single member of Iran’s team participated in singing their country’s national anthem, while England’s players sang their anthem out loud.
According to Reuters, protests have clutched Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for not abiding by the Islamic dress code. The display at the World Cup game between Iran and England was a sign of support for the protests in Iran.
Some audience members held up signs with the saying, “Women, life and freedom,” while others chanted “Ali Karmini,” a former Iranian player who has voiced support for protests.
What is going on in Iran?
Since Amini’s death, protests have erupted for women's rights in the country. However, since then it has grown into a movement against a government that people no longer believe can be reformed, per CNN.
About 410 people have been killed and at least 17,251 arrested for protesting in the country, according to Reuters. Regions of Iran reportedly resemble battle zones, as gunfire breaks out in protests from armed forces.