FIFA authorizes certain gestures of support for demonstrators in Iran in the stadiums of the 2022 World Cup, according to a document made available to AFP this Tuesday (29), such as the slogan “Women, life, freedom”, or photos of Mahsa Amini, whose death provoked this protest movement.
In a standard response provided after the allegations deposited on the 2022 World Cup organizer’s complaints platform, which the AFP had access to, FIFA detailed the messages for which it grants authorization in stadiums in Qatar.
“FIFA authorizes messages that promote human rights and FIFA’s position is that ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ or the name or portrait of Mahsa Amini be authorized in stadiums,” it says.
“On the other hand, according to FIFA’s rules on prohibited objects for spectators, objects that include political, offensive or discriminatory messages are prohibited. This also applies to flags of unofficial countries, which can be considered a political message”, writes FIFA’s governing body in its response.
Tension is extreme in Iran, the scene of a protest movement after the death, on September 16, of young Mahsa Amini (22 years old), detained by the moral police in Tehran for, according to her, not having respected the strict dress code imposed by the regime.
On Tuesday, Iranian authorities reported the deaths of more than 300 people during riots that followed his death.
This protest movement in Iran even reverberated in neighboring Qatar, with several incidents in the stands of the World Cup.
On Friday, security services at the Ahmad bin Ali stadium confiscated the Iranian flag from a man bearing the emblematic words of the uprising “Women, Life, Freedom”, according to an AFP journalist.
“FIFA is aware of several incidents that occurred in the first week of the tournament during matches in Iran. FIFA has taken steps to investigate these incidents”, reads the response sent by the body. “For Iran’s upcoming World Cup matches, additional measures will be implemented with the aim of creating a safe environment for all fans in attendance.
Hymn sung without enthusiasm
Iran’s players sang their country’s anthem without enthusiasm before the game against the United States this Tuesday (29), as they had already done in the second round of Group B of the World Cup in Qatar, unlike the debut in the tournament. .
The decision, described as “collective” by captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh, not to sing the anthem in the first round against England was received as a gesture of support for the victims of the harshly repressed demonstrations in Iran.
This duel with the US has an obvious political component, as the countries do not have diplomatic relations and Iran is currently experiencing an unprecedented protest movement.
On a sporting level, qualification for the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar is at stake. The winner passes the stage, while the loser is eliminated.
During the anthem there were boos from the stands of the Al Thumama stadium. The players looked relaxed as they entered the pitch.
Before facing Wales last Thursday, Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi had claimed that his national team players were under “no pressure” after not singing the anthem against England.
“I don’t like to talk about political matters, but we weren’t under any pressure,” declared the Porto player.
Since the beginning of the protests in Iran, refusing to sing the country’s anthem is one of the gestures that Iranian athletes perform in solidarity with the demonstrators.