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Watch: Iran team refuse to sing national anthem at World Cup

The entire Iranian team refused to sing the national anthem before their openingWorld Cupgame against England in a powerful statement against the countrys regime.

As the players stood impassively, whistling and jeers could also be heard from Irans fans as the anthem played out at the Khalifa International Stadium, while one female fan was picked up by the cameras appearing to cry.

Irans opening World Cup match came as mass protestssparked by the death of Mahsa Aminicontinue in cities across Iran.

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The unrest follows the death of the 22-year-old in September after she was detained by police in Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Irans strict Islamic dress code.

More than two months of nationwide protests are among the boldest challenges posed to Irans clerical leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The demonstrations have been further highlighted by the countrys presence at the World Cup in Qatar.

According to Reuters, Iranian state television did not show the players lining up for the anthem before the match started in Doha.

On Sunday, Iran defender Ehsan Hajsafi became the first member of the national team to speak out at the World Cup in support of anti-government protests back in his home country.

They should know that we are with them. And we support them. And we sympathise with them regarding the conditions, he told a news conference in Doha.

Iran players listen to the national anthem ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match against England. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of the match, Iran captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh remained coy on whether the team would refuse to sing the anthem in a show of solidarity.

Every single player has a different celebration and you ask about national anthem and thats something that also has to be decided in the team, which we already talked about, he said.

But we never made a big deal out of it, to be honest, because everybody is only thinking about football.

Watch: Chaotic scenes reported at World Cup fan zone

STORY: Crowds of people, including some security personnel, waved the Iranian flag in the city centers Valiasr Square after Iran scored twice after the eighth minute of stoppage time to snatch a 2-0 win. Irans win is a boost to their World Cup campaign, giving them a chance of reaching the knockout stage after they were beaten 6-2 by England in their Group B opener.The Asian team has never got past the group stage at five previous World Cups but Carlos Queirozs players will now fancy their chances after an impressive display as they punished a Welsh side that was reduced to 10 men late in the second half.The celebrations in Tehran were a stark contrast to weeks of anti-government protests that have gripped the country after the Sept. 16 death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.The unrest has posed one of the biggest challenges to Irans Shiite clerical rulers since they came to power in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with previous bouts of sustained protest eventually being crushed.

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) Aside from the competition for the World Cup title, one of the most hotly contested issues in the tournament in Qatar is over rainbow colors. In the first week of the tournament, seven European teams lost the battle to wear multi-colored One Love armbands during World Cup matches and some fans complained they werent allowed to bring items with rainbow colors, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, into the stadiums of the conservative Islamic emirate. Qatar, where gay sex is illegal, faced intense international scrutiny and criticism in the run-up to the tournament over rights issues, including questions on whether LGBTQ visitors would feel safe and welcome.

Players from Iran sang their countrys national anthem at the World Cup against Wales on Friday after staying silent prior to their first match against England.

Irans political turmoil is casting a shadow also over Irans second match at the World Cup, with pro-government fans harassing anti-government fans outside the stadium in Qatar. Unlike in their first match against England, the Iran players sang along to their national anthem before the match against Wales. Some Iran fans confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters entering the stadium and shouted insults at those wearing shirts with the slogan of the countrys protest movem

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United States coach Gregg Berhalter said politics would not come into his teams must-win World Cup clash with Iran following the Americans battling draw with England on Friday.

Japans national football team has gone viral for upholding their countrys reputation for cleanliness by tidying up their locker room at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Images of the teams locker room blew up online just days after Japanese football fans went viral for cleaning up after the opening game on Monday. Japan is widely known for being one of the cleanest countries in the world, and its people are sharing those core values with everyone else at this years World Cup in Qatar.

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The Serbian soccer federation was charged by FIFA on Saturday for hanging a political banner about neighboring independent state Kosovo in the locker room before playing Brazil at the World Cup. It showed a map of Serbia that included the territory of its former province, which has been an independent state for nearly 15 years, and the slogan No Surrender. Photos circulated of the banner draped over the lockers of Milos Veljkovic and Andrija Zivkovic ahead of the teams 2-0 loss to Brazil on Thursday in Qatar.

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