To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

Impassive and Silent, Iran's National Team at World Cup Sits Out Anthem Extolling the 'Imam'

Patrick Goodenough : Nov 22, 2022  CNSNews.com

"They should know that we are with them, we support them and we sympathize with them. We cannot deny the conditions—the conditions in my country are not good and the players know it also. We are here but it does not mean that we should not be their voice..." -Captain of the Iranian team, Ehsan Hajsafi

airlift[CNSNews.com] As a soccer World Cup dogged with controversy continued on Monday, the sight of Iran's national team standing silent during the playing of their national anthem before their opening game in Doha attracted significant media and social media attention. (Screengrab image)

But in Iran, media outlets largely ignored what appeared to be a gesture of solidarity with anti-regime protests that have gripped the country for more than two months.

Instead, press coverage in the soccer-mad country either focused narrowly on the game itself, or dedicated column inches to hardly-remarkable reports about Israeli journalists in Qatar getting an unfriendly reception from some Arab soccer fans, who "chanted their support for Palestine."

Immediately after the English team sang spiritedly along to "God Save the King," Iran's national anthem was announced. The anthem, adopted in 1990, includes a reference to the "Imam"—Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—and the expectation that the Islamic Republic he founded will be eternal.

As the camera panned along the line of impassive, unsmiling Iranian players, the team's fans in the stadium clapped and yelled and some made thumbs-down or victory signs.

It was not clear whether they were doing so in support or otherwise of the team's gesture—or both. But some Iranian fans unfurled a large banner bearing what has become a popular rallying cry in the protests at home: "Women. Life. Freedom." 

Click Here to watch a video of the opening anthems

(Four years ago, at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Iran's team members sang enthusiastically along during the playing of the national anthem.)

On Monday, Iran went on to deliver its poorest performance yet in a World Cup game, losing to England 6-2—although the loss to injury of the Iranian goalkeeper early on did not help. Iran is in 20th place in the current FIFA world rankings; England is 5th.

(Iran and England share a group with Wales and the United States, so the Iranians will play the US team in a week's time. The US and Wales drew their opening game on Monday 1-1.)

Members of the Iranian team have faced reporters' questions in recent days about their view on the situation at home, where more than 350 people including dozens of children, have been killed and thousands have been detained as the regime cracks down on protests.

The protests were sparked by the death in custody of a young woman arrested by the "morality policy" for improper wearing of the hijab, and spread across the country. The regime accuses the US, Israel, and other "enemies" of inciting the unrest.

On Sunday, the captain of the Iranian team, Ehsan Hajsafi, during a press briefing voiced sympathy for "all the bereaved families of Iran"

"They should know that we are with them, we support them and we sympathize with them," he said.

"We cannot deny the conditions—the conditions in my country are not good and the players know it also," Hajsafi said. "We are here but it does not mean that we should not be their voice, or we must not respect them."

In a column for Iran's state-funded Press TV, published before Monday's game, Tehran-based journalist Syed Zafar Mehdi wrote that the national team has been placed "under tremendous psychological pressure the past few weeks amid a relentless campaign by hostile forces in the West to de-legitimize them and affect their morale ahead of the World Cup."

'Business as usual' with Qatar

As the month-long World Cup got underway this week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Qatar for strategic dialogue talks—and to watch the US-Wales game.

...Biden last March designated Qatar, a key ally of Iran (and the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas), as a major non-NATO ally.

"Maintaining 'business as usual' with Qatar undermines [the] US position," the advocacy group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) said on Monday, noting that Qatar maintains strong relations with the regime in Iran, including its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), whose Basij militia is playing a key role in the attempt to crush the protests.

UANI also recalled that the Emir of Qatar last month hosted Iran's vice president for economic affairs, former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezai, who is wanted by Argentina for suspected involvement in the deadliest terrorist attack in the country's history—the 1994 suicide truck bombing of a Jewish community center in which 85 people were killed.

"Despite Tehran's behavior, Qatar's position on Iran remains unchanged, threatening the security of the United States and its allies and undermining ...Biden's commitment to stand with the Iranian people," UANI said. "The US should revoke Qatar's major non-NATO ally status until Doha demonstrates that its commitment to counterterrorism extends beyond mere words."

In a fact sheet, the State Department characterized Qatar as "one of the United States' closest military partners in the region"—its Al-Udeid Air Base serves as the forward headquarters of Florida-based US Central Command—an "active partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and countering violent extremism," and a country that has "demonstrated its commitment to combat the financing of terrorism."

It also said the US "greatly appreciates Qatar's ongoing support for the Palestinian people and the stabilization of Gaza."

The fact sheet made no mention of the Qatari regime's longstanding support for Hamas, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

New Film Tells the True Story behind the Beloved Carol, 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day'

Democrats' 'Jim Crow 2.0' Myth Debunked Again as Early Voting in Georgia Runoff Tops 1 Million

Concerns over 87,000 New IRS Agents Mounting after Senator Demanded the IRS Target Conservatives

Balenciaga Photo Fiasco Just Latest Attempt to Mainstream Sexualization of Children

GOP Senators Send Letter Warning That Biden Admin Education Panel, Stacked With Critical Race Theory-Supporting Activists, May Be Breaking the Law

Biden Admin Wants Sex-Change Surgery for Minors to Be Covered by Taxpayer Dollars

Rigorous International Study of N95 Masks Upends Federal COVID Narrative

Latest CDC Data Reveal: the Majority of COVID-19 Deaths Are Vaccinated People

'This is Christ-mas': Actor Tim Allen Pushed Back on Original 'The Santa Clauses' Plot in Quest to Explore Holiday's 'Religious' History

Account Closed: Banks and Businesses Cancel Christians: 'I'd Heard of This Happening to Literally Dozens of Groups'

White House Doublespeak: We Won't Tell Apple to Allow AirDrop in China Because They're Private, That's a Different Situation from Us Vowing to Watch Twitter

South Dakota's Kristi Noem Bans TikTok, Warns of Chinese Intelligence Gathering

Pastors Take Charge Combatting 'Drag Queen Story Hour' with the Gospel

Project Veritas Posts Part 2 in Its Exposé of HHS Corruption: 'a Very Wicked Thing'

Project Veritas: Biden's HHS Complicit in Shocking Human Trafficking, Part One

'The Chosen' Added to Netflix and Immediately Soars in Popularity as one of the 'Most Liked' Titles

Hawaii's Mauna Loa Eruption: Stunning Video Shows Lava Spewing, Reaching Heights of 164 Feet into the Air

'Genderfluid' Biden Official Sam Brinton Charged with Stealing a Woman's Luggage

Biden Wants Your Retirement Savings to Go Woke. Here Are 3 Ways to Protect Yourself

'They Brought This On Themselves': DeSantis Fires Back After Disney's Bob Iger Regrets Being 'Dragged' into Parental Rights



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com