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Iran players refuse to show country's crest during national anthem in powerful protest

Max Sherry

Published 
| Last updated 

Iran players refuse to show country's crest during national anthem in powerful protest

Members of the Iranian national football team chose to cover up their country's badge during the national anthem.

The move served as a powerful protest against the oppression of women in their home nation as political and social unrest continues to engulf Iran.

As the national anthem played over the loud speakers ahead of their side's clash with Senegal, Iran's players could be seen wearing black jackets which covered the crest on their kits.

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A small portion of players still sang the anthem, although the majority didn't.

It's understood the friendly match was also played behind closed doors too.

The incredible statement from the players comes fresh off the back of widespread protests in the country following the death of 22-year-old school teacher Mahsa Amini.

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Amini was arrested earlier this month for refusing to wear a hijab and her subsequent death in custody has sparked outrage among fellow Iranians.

Now the nation's top professional footballers have joined the chorus of angry people, making their feelings on the matter known on the global stage.

According to multiple reports, hundreds of protestors also gathered outside the stadium, chanting 'say her name'.

The demonstration has received massive praise from people online as social media users threw their support behind the players and the entire nation.

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In Iran’s largest protests in almost three years, The Guardian claims at least 41 people have died since the riots began.

The reports reads: "Some female protesters have removed and burned their hijabs in the rallies and cut off their hair, some dancing near large bonfires to the applause of crowds that have chanted 'zan, zendegi, azadi' or 'woman, life, freedom'."

A number of high-profile figures in Iran have used their platforms to heap praise on the protests – Bayern Leverkusen forward Sardar Azmoun was one of them.

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“At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team,” Iranian star Azmoun said via Instagram.

“No problem. I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted. They can do whatever they want. Shame on you for killing so easily; long live Iranian women.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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Iran are currently preparing for their 2022 World Cup campaign in Qatar.

One of the only people allowed to attend the match with Senegal in person was England manager Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland.

The Three Lions play Iran in their opening fixture on November 21.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/davenewworld_2

Topics: Australia, Football, Football World Cup, Qatar

Max Sherry
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