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Iran Shuts Out Wales in a 2-0 Victory after its Players Sing Anthem 

Just a few days ago, it was reported that Iran’s World Cup team refused to sing the national anthem to show solidarity with the anti-government protests, a move many believe to be due to intimidation. However, this morning the team was seen mouthing along to the anthem just before the kickoff against Wales. Iran shutout Wales in a 2-0 victory.

Many in attendance were fans supportive of the country with video surfacing of a large group inside the stadium chanting “Janam Fadayee Iran,” which translates to “my life be sacrificed for Iran’.


A large crowd of fans in the stands were also heard chanting “Ya Ali Madad!” which references Imam Ali (a) whom Shias believe to be the rightful successor after the Prophet Muhammad (S) and is a highly esteemed figure in the Muslim world. The chant “Ali Madad” means “May Ali Help you”, a prayer in hopes for a successful game.

Images from today’s game also showed some anti-government protestors in attendance. One woman, who was photographed with painted red tears and black under-eye make-up, was kicked out of the stadium after holding a T-shirt that read “Mahsa Amini”. Qatar authorities ordered any flags that are not the Islamic Republic of Iran to be removed. This was confirmed by Zeinlabda Arwa, a security guard at the stadium.

Prior to the game, many Iranians who attended Friday’s match up against Wales came face-to-face with anti-government protests. PBS news reported that a mob of angry men shouted insults against a small number of women who sported pre-revolution Persian flags. However, the video below shows a more civil interaction taking place, where a woman can be heard yelling while accusing the men of being paid by the government to be there. The men, in response, said that her presence in this manner is shameful to the country of Iran. 

In addition, news outlets continue to speculate about whether the players only sang the anthem due to threats. Sources like The Guardian claim that the players were “barely mouthing” the anthem and were met with boos in the crowd. Daily Mail’s headlines read players “forced” to sing the anthem. 

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted to her 640,000 followers that the people of Iran were not celebrating the World Cup win, and that it was only security forces who were joyous in the streets. Alinejad implied that all celebrations were organized by the state. ESPN’s official soccer account ESPNFC even stated that Iranian fans booed and whistled their anthem. 

Yet, Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, A University Professor in Tehran claimed that was a blatant lie. 

Another journalist, Zafar Mehdi, tweeted a video of several hundred people in the streets jumping and celebrating under the caption, “Yeah. Iranian people didn’t celebrate. These are all just aliens from outer space.”

Iran is set to play the USA on Tuesday Nov. 29 at 2p.m. EST.


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  • Mariam Dahoui Charara

    Mariam Dahoui Charara earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and a Masters in Teaching from Wayne State University. Initially an aspiring sports writer, her passion for writing shifted after having a family. She is a published author of children’s Islamic books and aims to continue to write with purpose from her hometown of Dearborn, Mich.

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