Supporters of Iran's government clashed with protesters at the World Cup

Supporters of Iran’s government clashed with protesters at the World Cup

Al-Rayyan, Qatar (AP) — Tensions ran high during Iran’s second World Cup match on Friday as supporters of Iran’s government harassed anti-government protesters and stadium security tossed flags, T-shirts and Others seized items that showed support for the protest movement. which has trampled the Islamic Republic.

Some fans were prevented from bringing Persian revolutionary flags to the game against Wales at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium due to stadium security. Other similar flags were snatched from the hands of pro-government Iranian supporters, who also shouted insults at fans wearing T-shirts that chanted the slogan of the protest movement in the country: “Women, Life, Freedom”. He wrote a letter.

Unlike their first match against England, Iran’s players sang their national anthem before the match and some fans in the stadium shouted, clapped and chanted.

The national team is being watched closely for any comments or hints about the nationwide protests that have gripped Iran for weeks.

Outside the stadium, chants of “women, life, freedom” were chanted among fans, while others chanted “Islamic Republic”.

Outside the stadium, a group of men surrounded three different women giving interviews to foreign media about the protests and disrupted the broadcast, shouting: “Islamic Republic of Iran!” Supporters of Iran’s government shouted in Farsi and filmed close-ups on their phones, with many of the female fans visibly shaken.

After Iran’s 2-0 win, a crowd of Iranian fans stormed out of the stadium waving national flags. They approached a group of protesters holding pictures of 22-year-old Mehsa Amini, who died in police custody on September 16, and were the first to shout “Victory”. Eliminate the slogans of Amini’s name.

A 35-year-old woman named Maryam, who, like other lovers in Iran, refused to give her last name for fear of retribution from the government, began to cry as the men honked and hit her face. Filmed. On her face were painted the words “Freedom of Woman’s Life.”

“We want to raise awareness about his arrest and the women’s rights movement,” said Maryam, who lives in London but is originally from Tehran. “I’m not here to fight anyone, but people are attacking me and calling me a terrorist. I’m just saying here that football doesn’t matter if people are killed in the streets.

Maryam and her friends wore hats bearing the name of former Iranian soccer player Voria Ghafouri, who criticized Iranian officials and was arrested on Thursday in Iran for spreading anti-government propaganda. She said that the supporters of the Iranian government have taken their hats off their heads.

Ghafouri, who is Kurdish, was a star member of Iran’s 2018 World Cup squad but was surprisingly not named in this year’s squad in Qatar.

“It’s clear that the game was very politicized this week. You can see people from the same country hating each other,” said Mustafa, a 40-year-old Iranian fan who declined to give his last name. do not hesitate “I think the arrest of Varia has had a big impact on Iranian society as well.”

Angry protesters in Iran expressed their anger at social and political oppression and the state-mandated hijab, or hijab, for women. The demonstrations quickly turned into calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. According to the Human Rights Watch in Iran, at least 419 people have been killed since the protests began.

Confusion has hampered the start of Iran’s World Cup campaign. Monday’s opening game against England was the scene of protests as anti-government fans waved signs and chanted in the stands. Before the game, in which Iran lost 6-2, the players remained silent during the national anthem and did not celebrate their two goals. On Friday, they sang along to the anthem and celebrated wildly when they scored twice against Wales.

Aye Shams, an Iranian in the US, said security guards confiscated her flag because it had the word “women” written on it.

“We just came to enjoy the games and give a platform to the people of Iran to fight against the Islamic regime,” Shams said.

A security guard at the stadium, Zainalbada Uroa, confirmed that officials had been ordered to confiscate everything except the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“If you’re talking about Iran or Qatar or any country, you’re only allowed to bring the normal flag,” she said.

An angry mob of Iranian government supporters in Arizona shouted at 16-year-old Iranian boy Elias Doer, who was wearing a Persian flag as a cap, before grabbing him and putting him in a bag.

“They don’t like that it’s a political statement,” he said. He added that other Iranian fans approached him to say they appreciated the gesture.

A 32-year-old Iranian woman from southern Spain, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, went after the game to retrieve her hat and flag, which were confiscated by stadium security. was She said Qatari police ordered her to remove the names of Iranian protesters killed and arrested by security forces that were written on her arms and chest at the request of supporters of the Iranian government. In the game, only traces of color remained on her skin which had been rubbed raw.

“Today’s soccer experience was the scariest I’ve ever seen before and after a game,” she said. She described dozens of men surrounding her and trying to burn her in the face with their Iranian flags and taking away her signs as Qatari security accompanied her.

“I don’t care about winning, to be honest. It’s not my priority.”

After the game, Iran’s state television broadcast patriotic songs and showed pictures of cheering crowds across the country.

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