Monday, January 30, 2023

Iran threatens its World Cup team with jailtime and torture ahead of its final match vs USA

Iran threatens its World Cup team with jailtime and torture ahead of its final match vs USA

Families of Iranian soccer players at the World Cup in Qatar have been threatened with torture and jail time if they fail to comply with pre-match protocols prior to Tuesday’s tense encounter against the United States.

 CNN was informed by a source that a meeting between the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and all 26 soccer players was required after the starting XI that faced England on November 21 declined to perform the Iranian national anthem before to the match.

Players were warned that their families would be subjected to ‘violence and torture’ if they remained silent during pre-game rituals or joined groups denouncing the Islamic Republic’s regime.

On Friday, Iranian players chanted their national anthem prior to a 2-0 victory over Wales.

After the game, a dozen IRGC officials were entrusted with monitoring Iran’s whole World Cup team and coaching staff, who are prohibited from contact with foreigners and others outside of their camp.

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

The sources stated that Portuguese-born Iran manager Carlos Quieroz met separately with IRGC agents after his players and their families were intimidated.

Queiroz earlier stated that Iranian players have the right to protest during the World Cup, so long as they adhere to FIFA’s standards.

They had been promised ‘presents and automobiles’ prior to a 6-2 loss to England, a source told CNN, but the government changed its strategy after it became ashamed that none of the players sang the national anthem with pride.

“In the last game against Wales, the regime sent over hundreds of these actor supporters in order to create a false sense of support and favor 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.

After months of protests against Iran’s government following the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the country’s morality police, the team remained silent in the first round of Group B matches.

Human Rights Activists in Iran, an advocacy group watching the demonstrations, reports that at least 450 people have been killed and over 18,000 imprisoned since the protests began.

Iran has not revealed mortality or arrest data in months and claims, without evidence, that its foreign foes, notably the United States, are behind the protests.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Tehran also restricts media access and has jailed over 63 reporters and photographers since the rallies began, making it more difficult to report on the upheaval.

Iran threatens its World Cup team with jailtime and torture ahead of its final match vs USA

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