Monday, 28 November, 2022
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World Cup in brief

Iran didn’t sing nat’l anthem before first game

Iran's players did not sing their national anthem before their first game of the World Cup against England on Monday, in apparent support for anti-government protesters in their homeland.

Ahead of the game in Qatar, captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh said the team would decide together whether or not to refuse to sing the anthem in a show of solidarity for demonstrations that have rocked the regime in Iran.

The Iranian players stood impassively and grim-faced as their anthem rang out around the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

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

Some Iranian athletes have chosen not to sing the national anthem or celebrate their victories in support of the protesters.

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