2022-11-25 10:58:18

At the World Cup Irans Anthem Was a Tense Moment For Players and Fans

Logo The New York Times
The New York Times
By John Branch

AL RAYYAN, Qatar Irans national anthem was met by halfhearted singing or mouthing of the words by players and the jeering whistles of thousands of fans at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium before the team played Wales on Friday in its second game at the World Cup.

The scene, and the sounds, was different from Irans opener against England on Monday, when players gave the anthem the stoic silent treatment, a form of protest that got global attention. Irans team, a regular at the tournament and long a unifying force in a divided country, has for months been trying to navigate the delicate internal politics of Iran, caught between government expectations and an ongoing national uprising.

Before Fridays match against Wales, the stadium camera feeds showed a man sobbing as Irans anthem was played. When an emotional woman was shown, fans erupted in cheers. Elsewhere, others booed. In the seats, a woman unveiled a No. 22 jersey with the name Mahsa Amini on it. She was the 22-year-old who died while in police custody in September, sparking a growing movement of discontent about freedoms and womens rights under Irans theocratic rule.

Continue read on nytimes.com

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