The Iran Football team wore black jackets and covered up their national symbols in solidarity with protests against the oppression of women. Protests in Iran sparked after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being detained by the morality police.
Before the football match between Iran and Senegal, the Iranian male footballers showed their support for the ongoing women’s movement. Protests broke out following Amini’s death as citizens demanded an end to violence and discrimination against women in Iran.
Earlier this week, Iran won the Emirates Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup beat Brazil in the finals and Saeed Piramoon scored the winning goal. He imitated cutting his hair, a move which indicated his support for the protests that rocked Iran after Mahsa Amini died in police custody.
Before the final game started, the Iranian players were also seen not singing as the country’s national anthem.
A statement by Iran’s Football Federation vowed that those who protested during the tournament who did not follow the “professional and sports ethic” would be “dealt with according to the regulations”.
Iran Football Team
During a World Cup, the Iran football team wore black jackets over their uniforms, concealing the Iranian national emblem. Several Iranian footballers had already voiced their support for the protests.
Football player Sardar Azmoun had taken to social media and showed his support for the Iran protests in his Instagram story.
According to Iran Wire, the football player wrote that the Iran football team was not allowed to say anything until the World Cup training camp ended due to the national team rules. Azmoun said, “At worst I’ll be dismissed from the national team. No problem. I’d sacrifice that for one hair on the heads of Iranian women. This story will not be deleted”.
Azmoun ended the statement by saying, “I am not afraid of being shunned. Shame on you for killing so easily and long live Iranian women.”
His account was deactivated before it reappeared a few hours later. He later apologised to his teammates for his message and said he was not pressured to publish the post nor delete his comments.
Reportedly, Iran football team members Alizera Biranvand and Majid Hosseini also posted similar messages in solidarity but deleted them after a few hours.
Player Bayer Leverkusen also voiced his support for the protestors and the women in his country. He said, “My heart is broken for Mahsa Amini and all innocent people. They left the world and left a pain in the hearts of people that history will never forget.”
Protests began in Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after she was arrested by the morality police for not “correctly” wearing her hijab. Despite crackdowns and internet restrictions, the protests continued.
Women in Iran took to the streets and began cutting their hair and burning their hijabs in protest. According to the non-government organisation (NGO) Iran Human Rights, at least 76 people had been killed in 10 days.
Suggested Reading: Protests In Iran Over Hijab Rule: How Men Are Supporting Women