The hymn ceremony before Iran-Wales (2-0) this Friday saw the players of the Iranian selection sing the national anthem. An attitude that surprised knowing that these same players had remained silent four days earlier during of England-Iran (6-2) causing a strong stir in Iran and around the world. This silence, like previous statements by several players of the selection, including Sardar Azmoun, had been considered as strong support for the protest movement which has shaken Iran for two months following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini. .
Why did you decide to sing the anthem against the Welsh? According to the British daily “The Guardian”, it is because of threats, direct or indirect, coming from Iranian dignitaries close to the regime. “The Guardian” cites, for example, the president of the Tehran city council, Medhi Chamran, who declared on Tuesday, the day after the match against England: “NoWe will never allow anyone to insult our anthem and our flag. Iranian civilization has a history of several millennia, and is as old as all European and American civilizations”.
Another warning, according to “The Guardian”: the arrest this Thursday of Voria Ghafouri, defender of Foolad FC, one of the most popular players in Iran, for his criticism of the regime and in particular the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif. It should be noted that most of the players sang the anthem halfheartedly, some having even whispered it, and that this same anthem was whistled in the stadium by many Iranian supporters.