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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Ramazani Mwamba

Iran players refuse to sing national anthem before World Cup game against England

Iran players refused to sing their national anthem before their match against England. Player's stood silent as their national anthem rang out at the Khalifa Stadium in what seemed to be a protest against the current regime.

Iran has been in a state of unrest for over two months following the death of a 22-year-old woman called Mahsa Amini. Earlier this weekend, comedian and actor Omid Djalili called for England players to 'snip' their hair in support of Iranian women and girls.

Amini died in police custody after being arrested for breaking hijab laws. Police said she died of a heart attack, but her family say she had no history of heart trouble.

Her death sparked a flurry of anti-government and anti-hijab protests in Iran and across the globe.

Ahead of the game Omid Djalili who was born in London to Iranian parents has released a video on Twitter calling for players such as Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Kieran Trippier to perform an act which involves them pretending to cut their hair with invisible scissors.

The gesture which Omid describes as ‘hair, snip’ has become a trademark for Iranian nationals who are protesting against the current regime over what he calls ‘gender apartheid’.

In the video which is just over two minutes long, Omid is asked what he thinks about the match between England and Iran which is set to take place today and he replies: "Iran England game? Yeah it’s gonna be huge because of what’s happening in Iran right now. They’re protesting against gender apartheid.

“We should stop seeing Iran as a sovereign state like France or Germany. Iran is a terrorist state suppressing women. And says they should have been thrown out the world cup.”

In the video Omid also makes reference to the reports that 15,000 protesters who have been detained in Iran with over 300 killed and calls for players also in the same group as Iran to perform the gesture should they score. In the video Omid says: "So my message to the England players right now is that you have a massive opportunity to do a very, very small gesture to make massive global impact.

"And I think, England players, Wales and USA players, when they score, if you just make this one simple of like hair, snip. That sends a huge message to the women and girls of Iran."

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