The captain of the Iranian national team, Ehsan Haj Safi, confirmed on Sunday that he and his comrades should be the “voice” of the people in the match against England at the start of Tim Melli’s career in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, amid the crisis situation as a result of the protests shaking the country.
Greek defender AEK Athens said on the eve of the England meeting in the first round of Group Two competitions that includes Wales and his country’s political rivals the United States: I cannot deny the conditions in our country, and I cannot deny what is happening, but we have a match on Sunday, I hope we will achieve the desired result. And make people happy.
Iran has been witnessing protests for nearly two months, following the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, 22, three days after she was arrested by the morality police for not adhering to the strict rules of dress in the Islamic Republic.
Dozens of people, including members of the security forces, died on the sidelines of the protests, during which slogans were raised against the authorities, and officials considered a large part of them “riots.” The judiciary charged more than 2,000 detainees in connection with the movements.
Several Iranian national team players have expressed support for the protests on social media, wearing black wristbands during matches or refusing to sing the national anthem.
The 32-year-old, who has played 112 international matches, said: We have to accept that the conditions in our country are not right and people are not happy. We are here and that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be their voice and respect what they’re going through, hoping that circumstances will change.