Protesters protesting the Iranian regime were harassed by supporters of their government at the World Cup in Qatar. Tensions rose as Iran faced its second match of this tournament.
Three different women were attacked by mobs of Iranian male supporters outside the stadium. They disrupted broadcasts and shouted “The Islamic Republic of Iran!” at female protestors. Women were protesting Mahsa’s death in the custody of the morality police of Iran in September. Protesters were also prohibited from bringing into the stadium items that contained the slogan “Women, Life, Freedom”.
Unnamed women described how many men tried to smother her in Iran flags while she was surrounded by security.
According to the Associated Press, “Today’s football experience was one of the most frightening I’ve ever experienced,” she said. To be truthful, I don’t care about winning. This is not my priority.
Qatari security also ordered the woman to remove the names of protesters killed by Iranian security forces during the protests in Iran. These protests stemmed from Amini’s passing. The stadium security guards were directed not to allow any political items inside the stadium, except the Iranian flag.
Amini, then 22 years old, was arrested for not properly wearing her hijab. The morality police has the responsibility of enforcing strict dress codes for Iranian women. The death of her mother sparked violent protests in Iran calling for the end to Iran’s totalitarian regime. According to the outlet, at least 419 people have been killed in protests.
Iran’s national soccer team seemed to be siding with protesters by not singing or celebrating the two goals they scored on Monday. On Friday, however, players sang quietly and celebrated their goals. A former star player, who had been vocally opposed to the regime, was not selected for this team. He was also arrested for spreading “propaganda” on Thursday.
The United States will be facing Iran in the final matchup of Group B. Iran beat Wales on Friday, but lost to England Monday. The U.S. tied Wales Monday night and will be facing England Friday afternoon.