Despite players’s and coaches’ best efforts to insist that this was only a soccer match at a World Cup and not another battlefield where ideologies and government collided, the game between the United States and Iran was heavily politicized.
The Iran players reportedly had been threatened before the game with harming their families due to their protests against the regime, by refusing to sing their national anthem during their World Cup debut in Qatar against England.
The families of Iran’s World Cup soccer team have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players fail to “behave” ahead of the match against the USA on Tuesday, a source involved in the security of the games said. https://t.co/nXwZoW0Nqu
— CNN (@CNN) November 28, 2022
The threats are torture and imprisonment of their families, something that clearly added pressure on the players, who despite that still gave an incredible performance in the tournament.
Iran players could be imprisoned following loss to United States
Now that Iran has been officially eliminated against the United States in a match in which two of the possible three outcomes gave them the ticket to the Round of 16, reports emerge about the possible consequences awaiting for the squad in their home country, specially after they protested the regime in their first game by not singing the national anthem.
The Iranian players did sing the national anthem ahead of their game against the United States.
— روزنامه ایران (@IranNewspaper) November 29, 2022
Iran’s manager Carlos Queiroz praised his players
The manager for the Iran National Team, the portuguese Carlos Queiroz, praised his players toughness and ability to handle the added pressure that they’ve been under during this World Cup, while their native country goes through troubling political times.
🗣 "I'm very proud of them." 👏
Carlos Queiroz shares his support for the Iran team and has a message for Iranian fans that do not agree with the players not singing the national anthem pic.twitter.com/CkYeHbmorM
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 21, 2022