Iran’s footballers have been warned by officials in Tehran they face retribution for their ‘insulting’ decision not to sing their national anthem ahead of their Qatar World Cup match against England.
The Iranian national squad kept a stong face as the anthem played at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday ahead of their 6-2 World Cup defeat to England.
The team could now face reprisals if they refuse to sing Iran’s national anthem in their remaining World Cup games, an Iranian politician warned.
Medhi Chamran, the chairman of Tehran city council, warned that the country ‘will never allow anyone to insult our anthem’, reports The Guardian.
It was gathered that it was a stand of solidarity with protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police on September 16.
The 22-year-old died three days after her arrest in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic dress code for women.
But the Iranian national squad may now face retribution for their act of defiance after Chamran said on Tuesday: ‘We will never allow anyone to insult our anthem and flag.
‘Iranian civilisation has a history of several thousand years, this civilisation is as old as the total of European and American civilisations.’
A conservative MP in Kurdistan also called for the Iranian football team to be replaced by faithful youngsters who are willing to sing the national anthem, reports the Guardian.
Meanwhile, a senior British politician said the risk to the Iranian players’ lives is now ‘serious and severe’ after they refused to sing the national anthem.