Iran Threatened to Torture Family Members of National Soccer Team Competing at World Cup
A source involved in World Cup security has said that the Iranian football squad has been threatened with the jail or torture of their families if they do not ‘behave’ during Tuesday’s game against the United States. According to CNN’s cited source, after the Iranian football team refused to sing the national anthem before their opening match against England on November 21, the IRGC called a meeting of the team.
A source claims the players were threatened with “violence and torture” if they would not perform the national anthem or take part in political activities against the Tehran government.
Before last Friday’s 2-0 victory over Wales in their second match, the Iranian team played their national anthem. The Iranian national anthem, according to the Mirror article, expresses the Islamic Republic’s hope to remain forever.
An informant who is monitoring Iran’s security services in Qatar during the World Cup reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has sent scores of officers to monitor the Iranian players, who are not allowed to mingle with anyone outside the team. According to the insider, “there are a large number of Iranian security officers in Qatar collecting information and monitoring the players,” CNN stated.
According to the report, Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese coach of the Iranian national team, visited with the players and their families individually after they were threatened by IRGC authorities.
The source also chose not to elaborate on the nature of the purported chat. Queiroz has stated that Iranian players are permitted to demonstrate at the World Cup so long as they do it within FIFA regulations.
Amidst the debate over the Iranian flag, Group B’s match between Iran and the United States on Tuesday is widely regarded as a must-watch. Despite internal upheaval, Iran is still taking part in this year’s World Cup.
The USSF angered Iran by flying the American flag without the Islamic Republic’s symbol before a crucial Group B match. The Iranian government also claimed that the United States was providing support to anti-government protestors in Iran. People in Iran have been protesting ever since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, died in police custody for allegedly wearing a hijab incorrectly.
The Iranian leadership retaliated by saying the United States had taken God’s name off their flag. A story in The Guardian states that the Iranian football federation demanded a 10-game suspension for their opponents for “offending the dignity” of Iran.
Following the United States Soccer Federation’s (USSF) social media post of a picture of the Iranian flag without the Islamic Republic of Iran’s insignia in support of Iranian demonstrators, the government of Iran made this unexpected request. As of right moment, the image is no longer available.