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Iran threatened families of national soccer team, security source reveals


Families of Iran's World Cup soccer team have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players do not "behave" before the game against the United States on Tuesday, a source involved in match security revealed.

Fans of Iran support the demonstrations in their country during a match with Wales 1:45

(CNN) --

Families of Iran's World Cup soccer team have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players don't "behave" before the match against the United States on Tuesday, a source involved in match security said.

Following the refusal of Iran's footballers to sing the national anthem during their first match against England on November 21, the source said the players were summoned to a meeting with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, for their acronym in English).

  • Iran's players remain silent as their anthem is played in Qatar, in an apparent protest against their country's regime

The source said they were told their families would suffer "violence and torture" if they did not sing the national anthem or join a political protest against the Tehran regime.

The players sang the anthem before their second game against Wales last Friday, in which Iran won 2-0.

  • CNN Exclusive: Qatari security officials detain World Cup attendees for wearing rainbow-colored items

The source, who closely monitors Iran's security agencies operating in Qatar during the World Cup, said dozens of IRGC agents were recruited to monitor Iranian players who are not allowed to mingle outside the team or meet. with foreigners.


“There are a large number of Iranian security agents in Qatar collecting information and monitoring the players,” the source said.

Iranian players did not sing their country's anthem in Qatar 1:00

Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese coach of the Iran national team, met separately with IRGC officials after the threats to the Iranian players and their families, the source said.

The source did not say what the content of that alleged conversation had been.

Queiroz has said that Iranian players can protest at the World Cup in Qatar, but only within FIFA rules.

The players, the source said, were promised "gifts and cars" before the game against England.

However, the regime, the source alleged, went on to threaten the players and their families after they were humiliated by the team's refusal to sing their national anthem.

"In the last game against Wales, the regime sent hundreds of actors posing as fans to create a false sense of support and favor among supporters. For the next game against the United States, the regime plans to significantly increase the number of actors in the thousands," the source added.

Iran and the United States meet on Tuesday in a crucial Group B match.

Iran comes to this World Cup under the shadow of the social upheaval it is experiencing.

The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, has said the country is in a "full-blown human rights crisis" as authorities crack down on dissidents who oppose the regime.

The protests, which experts refer to as the most significant since the establishment of the clerical government after the 1979 Iranian revolution, have rocked Iran in recent months and threatened the country's regime, which has been in power for more than 40 years old.

  • Iran calls for the US to be kicked out of the World Cup after changing the Iranian flag on its social media to show support for protesters

The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who lost her life after being detained by Iran's morality police, allegedly for failing to comply with the country's conservative dress code.

Iranian security forces have unleashed a violent response.

Iran's state media on Sunday called for the United States to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran's flag on its social media platforms to show support for protesters in the country.

The federation had temporarily displayed Iran's national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.

A now-removed Group B qualifying graphic released on Saturday showed the Iranian flag in only its green, white and red colours.

US Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show "support for women in Iran fighting for basic human rights," but always planned to go back to the original flag.

The change "was a one-time graph," US Soccer told CNN.

“We have the main banner on our website and in other places.”

Currently, the emblem is once again on the flag on the entity's social media channels.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN that it did not coordinate with US Soccer on the sports body's decision to change the Iranian flag on its social media accounts to show support for the protesters in Iran.

IranWorld CupThreats Qatar 2022

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-11-28

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