WATCH: Iran men's football team refuse to sing national anthem to mark their support to anti-hijab protest during match vs England

Notably, the alleged murder of Mahsa Amini by security officials has sparked massive protests in the country, demanding change in the government.

Aakash SrivastavaAuthor

Updated - 21 November 2022 10:11 PM

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Apart from football, the FIFA World Cup 2022 has become a center stage to lot of controversies. The relevant stakeholders have already used the event to draw attention towards the issue of migrant workers who were associated with building World Cup stadiums being subject to exploitation of their fundamental rights and Russia's insensitive military invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Iran's football team decided to stay quiet during their national anthem ahead of World Cup opener against England, marking their dissent over the alleged death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, reportedly for wearing her headscarf 'inappropriately'.  Notably, the alleged murder of Mahsa Amini by security officials in Iran has sparked massive protests in the country, demanding change in the government. 

On the eve of the Iran vs England match, Iran football team captain Ehsan Hajsafi commented on the same during a press conference.  "My condolences to all the mourning families in Iran. We stand with them and share their pain; we must accept that conditions in our country are not right, and our people back home are not happy. My people are sad, and our presence here does not mean that we cannot be a voice for them or should not respect them," Hajsafi said. 

"We owe our lives to our people, and we are here to work hard, fight, show our best performance and score goals, and present them to the bereaved Iranian people," added Iran's skipper. Meanwhile, Iranian player Alireza Jahanbaksh hit back at English media for diverting the attention from World Cup by asking about the anti-government protest in Iran. 

"I am not surprised you are asking this question. I think everyone is expecting this question, and I assume you are probably from the English media. I am not sure if England were not in our group, you would have come with this question firstly," he told reporters. Jahanbakhsh then suggested that English media is attempting to play a "mental game" with such questions.  

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