London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Iran regime supporters and protesters confront each other ahead of World Cup match against Wales

Iran regime supporters and protesters confront each other ahead of World Cup match against Wales

Pro-regime supporters and anti-government protesters confront each other outside the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayman, Qatar, ahead of Iran's Group B match against Wales.

On-going protests in Iran threatened to overshadow the country's second match at the World Cup as pro-regime supporters and anti-government protesters confronted one another ahead of kick-off.

As fans prepared to take their seats at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayman, Qatar, for the Group B match against Wales, those with differing political views confronted each other outside the venue.

Outside the security checkpoint, some fans shouted "women, life, freedom", while others shouted back "The Islamic Republic", according to Associated Press reports.

Some Iran fans confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters, and shouted insults at those wearing shirts with protest slogans.

Small groups of men angrily chanted "The Islamic Republic of Iran" at women giving interviews to foreign journalists about the protests.

Many female fans appeared visibly shaken as Iranian government supporters surrounded them with national flags and filmed them on their mobile phones.

Widespread demonstrations have followed the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of Iran's morality police in September after being detained for alleged violations of the country's strict dress code.

Iranian fans hold up a T-shirt and flag with protest slogans

One pair of supporters were pictured inside the stadium - a woman wearing a T-shirt with "Mahsa Amini" printed on it, and a man holding aloft an Iranian national flag with the protest slogan, "Woman, Life, Freedom".

They were later spotted being confronted by officials, who appeared to confiscate the flag.

FIFA and Qatar's list of prohibited items includes those carrying "political, offensive, or discriminatory messages".

While protests took place both inside and outside the venue, they did not spill on to the pitch today.

Iran's players, who had refused to sing their national anthem before the start of their World Cup opener in Qatar against England on Tuesday, this time chose not to remain silent.

Loud jeers were heard from Iranian supporters as the anthem played, with the team appearing to sing quietly.

Some fans were visibly moved to tears during the national anthem.

The gesture of staying tight-lipped has been interpreted as a sign of solidarity - the Iranian team putting themselves firmly on the side of the wave of protests back home.

There were fears after the England match the players could face repercussions for their actions.

Iran players singing the national anthem

Iranian authorities have responded with deadly force to suppress protests that have marked one of the boldest challenges to its clerical rulers since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

State television did not show footage of the players lined up for the start of the match against England, which they lost 6-2 to the Three Lions.

The only official reaction has come from Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi, who tweeted, "We love Iran's national team, in all circumstances", after that game.

Team Melli, as the football team is known, have traditionally been a huge source of national pride in Iran, but they have found themselves caught up in the country's political turmoil.

Asked on Thursday about the unrest at home striker Mehdi Taremi said they were in Qatar to play football.

"We are not under pressure," he added - after they refrained from singing the national anthem in their first match.


Related Articles

London Daily
Russia's Electronic Warfare Neutralizes Western Weapons in Ukraine
Trump Challenges Biden to Debate and Golf Match
Macron Accuses Israeli Minister of Election Interference
US Senator Highlights Weaknesses in Western Military Industry During Ukraine Conflict
George Clooney Urges Biden to Withdraw from Presidential Race
Political Shift in the UK: A Detailed Analysis of Labour's Victory and Future Prospects
Viktor Orbán's Peace Mission: A Diplomatic Controversy in the EU
India Advocates Peace and Prosperity: PM Modi's Speech in Austria
New UK PM Keir Starmer Reaffirms Strong Support for Ukraine at NATO Summit
Spain PM Pedro Sanchez Denounces Double Standards on Gaza at NATO Summit
UK Police Arrest Suspect in Crossbow Attack After Three Women Killed
Sunita Williams Safe on ISS, to Address Earth on July 10
Biden Affirms Commitment To Presidential Race
France Faces Political Turmoil and Airport Strikes Ahead of Paris Olympics 2024
Putin Hosts PM Modi for a Private Meeting
TSMC: The Taiwanese Chip Giant Valued Over $1 Trillion
Boeing Pleads Guilty Over 737 MAX Crashes
2024 Predicted to Be World's Hottest Year
Iran's President-Elect Masoud Pezeshkian Reiterates Support for Hezbollah
White House Denies Biden Being Treated for Parkinson's Disease
Biden to Meet New UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer
Biden Insists on Continuing Presidential Race Amid Criticism
UK Defence Minister Pledges Enhanced Support to Ukraine
French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal Resigns After Election Setback
Macron Faces New Political Challenges Despite Election Relief
France's Far-Right Falls Short in Parliamentary Elections
Key Figures in France's Left-Wing New Popular Front Bloc
England Reaches Euro 2024 Semifinals After Penalty Shootout Win
Rishi Sunak Apologizes After Historic Tory Defeat
Voter Discontent in Recent UK and French Elections
Trump was recorded attacking Biden: "I kicked the old pile of shit"
Understanding the MRP Method in UK Elections
US Officials Resign Over Biden's Gaza Policy
First-Time Immigrant Voters Aim to Influence UK Elections 2024
Reform UK Receives Major Donations from Brexit Campaign Group
Tata Steel Strike Called Off, Paving the Way for Crucial Talks
Sir Keir Starmer's Acceptance of Substantial Gifts from UK Donors
New Zealand Introduces Law to Make Tech Giants Pay for News
NASA Astronauts Stranded in Space Due to Boeing's Starliner Issues
OpenAI and Microsoft Sued for Copyright Infringement
Starmer Vows to Renegotiate Brexit Deal Amid Far-Right Rise in France
Monster Hurricane Beryl Hits Caribbean as Category Five Storm
EU Charges Meta with Breaching Antitrust Rules
Biden's Debate Performance Unites Democrats and Republicans
Prison Officer Faces Court Over Inmate Sex Video
Jude Bellingham's Iconic Euro 2024 Goal: A Historic Moment for England
Campaigners Push for Emergency Uplift Visa for Palestinians Escaping Gaza Conflict
French Elections: Battle to Thwart Far-Right Takeover
Supreme Court Grants Trump Partial Immunity, Delays Trial
China Criticizes US Restrictions on AI Investments