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“Our People Are Not Happy”: Iranian Team Refused to Sing National Anthem at World Cup

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The Iranian national team refused to sing the national anthem during the start of their first game at the World Cup in Qatar as a protest against the political and human rights situation in their country.

Iran’s Captain Ehsan Hajsafi voiced support for families who have lost someone during protests against the Iranian regime. “We have to accept that the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy,” Hajsafi said.

“Before anything else, I would like to express my condolences to all bereaved families in Iran,” Hajsafi said at the start of a press conference.

The World Cup opener

Carlos Queiroz, Iran’s coach, also assured that his players are not in the best mental state due to the situation Iran is going through and pointed out that they have been affected by external factors.

“My players are not in the best environment, in terms of concentration, because of the problems that surround them. They are human beings, they have children, they have a dream, which is to play for their country, for their people, to enjoy it. I am very proud that they have stood up and fought for it, that they have scored 2 goals against England in these circumstances,” said Queiroz, after the national team lost 6-2 to England.

“Years ago we had everyone’s support. Now we don’t, I don’t understand why they come and don’t encourage us, let them stay at home. Those who don’t want to support us, we don’t need them, it’s better that they don’t come and stay at home. We don’t need people who only support us when we win,” he added.

Williams Perdomo es periodista y escritor, especializado en las fuentes Política y Cultura.