Solidarity protest: Iran players opt not to sing national anthem at World Cup

Photo: AFP

Iran’s national soccer team chose not to sing their country’s anthem before their opening World Cup match against England on Monday, in an apparent show of support for protesters back home, Reuters reported.

All of the starting 11 players were silent as the anthem was played at the Khalifa International Stadium, according to the news agency.

Following this, Iran’s state television cut away its feed from their faces.

Captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh had said the team would decide “collectively” whether to refuse to sing in support of anti-government protesters, AFP reported.

Qatar also witnessed the brief gatherings in solidarity with the protesters in Iran.

Dozens of men and women were killed by state police during the protests in Iran.