Iran threatens footballers’ families with prison and torture, security source says

Iran football team during national anthem.

There’s been a new development in the situation of Iran’s national football team and the recent events at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Iranian authorities have threatened the families of its national football players with imprisonment and torture, according to a source involved in the security of the games.

This news comes after the players refused to sing their country’s national anthem before a match against England last week in a move that appeared to be a display of solidarity with their fellow countrymen, who are protesting against Iran’s theocratic dictatorship.

The source said the players were called to a meeting with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The players were then told that their families would face “violence and torture” if they did not sing the anthem, or if they took part in any political protest against the regime.

The source added that dozens of IRGC officers have been drafted to monitor the Iranian players, who are not allowed to mingle outside the squad or meet with foreigners, CNN reported.

The source said…

“In the last game against Wales, the regime sent over hundreds of these actor supporters to create a false sense of support and favour amongst the fans. For the next game against the US, the regime is planning to significantly increase the number of actors into the thousands.”

The source said the Iranian team’s Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz met with IRGC officers following the threats. They did not report details of the conversation. Queiroz has said Iranian players can protest at the World Cup, but only within FIFA regulations.

Iran’s protests were sparked in September after Iran’s so-called morality police killed a 22 year old woman named Mahsa Amini. Amini was killed after she allegedly wore her headscarf improperly.

Since then, the country has erupted with rage. The explosive new movement has largely been led by women. There have been mass uprisings in areas with ethnic minorities such as Kurds and Balochis.

Yesterday, an Iranian general acknowledged that over 300 people have been killed in the protests.

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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