Iranian team exits World Cup after loss to United States


Doha QATAR — Iran’s national soccer team braved a firestorm before facing the United States.

As the domestic uprising rages, some have been mocked by opposition activists for associating with the Iranian government, and authorities in Tehran have issued threats warning them not to show solidarity with the protests. In Qatar, they faced tough questions about politics at press conferences, as Iran’s arguments sometimes stood.

The players did not sing the national anthem during the first match against England and police have arrested Mahsa Amini, who has been detained by police in support of the protests that have spread across Iran since September. . But that gesture wasn’t enough for fans who booed the players, calling them “disgraceful”.

While in the spotlight, the Iranian team quietly nodded to domestic protests at the World Cup.

on Tuesday, As the big game against the USA loomed, some of the Iranian supporters gathered at the Al Thumama Stadium seemed united in their belief that the players had enough. The team was used as a cudgel by the regime or its opponents, including Iranians living abroad, and – whether the team claimed it or denied it – football became something of a fantasy.

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The pressure on the group of citizens in the crowd was “horrendous,” said one supporter from Houston, who was referred to by her first name, Sherry, about the situation. “Politics should not be mixed with sports. It’s not the place for that.”

Toronto’s Milad Seyedi, who has worn an Iran jersey since the 1998 victory over the United States, said the players want the world to understand that “Iran is the people of the team.” They are under various pressures. Their families are under pressure. We are not against them.”

If that sentiment lifts some of the burden on the players, it may not show in Tuesday’s results. Despite a flurry of chances in the second half, Iran lost 1-0 and crashed out of the tournament.

The team’s coach, Carlos Queiroz, who has tried to shield the players from the politics swirling around the team throughout the World Cup, said after the game: “Commitment, In terms of delivery, Enthusiasm What they did with faith. It’s possible to score a goal on the pitch.”

If Iran is allowed to participate in the next World Cup, the players will have to prepare better. But as they seem to refer to all of them, “mind, spirit “It will be necessary to have the spirit,” he said. Distraction.

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“Keep going,” he said of the team. “The whole world respects, I’m trying to gain respect and trust. I think it’s worth it.” As he said, The videos came from Iran.including from Kurdish areas at the heart of the uprising; Showing people celebrating the team’s defeat.

Months of controversy preceded Tuesday’s match.

Before the start of the tournament, they clashed with an Iranian team called Team Melli, and some of the Iranians were FIFA, They called on the Football Association to ban the international governing body and to recognize the bloody crackdown by the authorities on the protest movement. Hundreds of protesters were killed. Some felt that the team’s appearance at the World Cup provided more visibility for the uprising.

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As the death toll rose as the tournament began, social media focused on the football club and caused grief. “The Islamic Republic team scored 2 goals and Baluchistan received tens of bullets,” read one post, referring to the crackdown in southeast Iran.

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Before Iran’s second game, Ahead of the game against Wales, Iranian authorities arrested a former member of the government-criticizing team in what was widely seen as a warning against protests at the World Cup. The following day, at the World Cup stadium, Qatari police officers removed some fans wearing t-shirts supporting the uprising at the behest of Iranian authorities.

Washington Post columnist Ishaan Tharoor watched the U.S. men’s team beat the United States at the World Cup in Qatar on Nov. 29. (Video: Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post)

In all chaos, The idea of ​​a “clash” between factions in the US and Iran, which has created animosity between the two regimes, seems to reflect an ideology or a monopoly. Because fans from both countries are easily mixed up on stage, Tuesday.

All onlookers had “mixed emotions”, he said of the situation as he left Sydney, only being referred to by his first name. “The Islamic State is trying to steal the success of this group,” he said, referring to Iran’s clerical leadership. The people of Iran need America’s support against the terrorist regime.

“But I want Iran to win this match,” he said.


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