FIFA World Cup: Iran Lost but Made A Big Statement

SRINAGAR: In the second game of the FIFA world cup at the Khalifa International Stadium, England defeated Iran by 6-2, in the group B match, marking a thumping win on the second day of the FIFA World Cup at Qatar.

Jude Bellingham (35’), Bukayo Saka (43’), and Raheem Sterling (45+1’) of England scored one goal each in the first half of the match gaining momentum for the game.

In the second half, England scored three more goals, taking the total tally to six goals against Iran.

Mehdi Taremi of Iran scored two goals (65’ and 90+13’) in the second half of the match.

Bukayo Saka of England and Mehdi Taremi of Iran both completed their Brace.

Even though Iran lost the match, its team made a statement by not singing the national anthem in support of the raging civil unrest against its own government.

At least 326 protesters, including 43 children and 25 women, are reported to have been killed in a violent crackdown by security forces, according to Iran Human Rights. BBC quoted the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) saying that 15,800 protesters stand detained and 39 security personnel were also killed.

Protests against the Tehran government erupted two months ago after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict hijab rules. Iranian leaders have been terming the protests as “riots” instigated by the country’s foreign enemies.

In apparent support for anti-government protesters back home, Iran’s 11-member FIFA squad players did not sing their national anthem before their first game of the World Cup against England on Monday. Some team members had already dropped indications that the team will show solidarity and lend support to the anti-government protests.

The football-obsessed nation of 80 million people is normally united by football but is reeling after two months of nationwide protests. Before the traditional kick-off of their World Cup 2022 opener against England, the 11 Iranian players expressed no emotion or reaction when Iran’s national anthem was loudly heard at the Khalifa International Stadium.

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