Watch World Cup protest: why did Iran fans boo national anthem v England and players decline signing?

Iran fans have made their voice heard at the World Cup amid unrest back home.

Iran fans have booed their national anthem en masse in their nation’s first outing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Iran kicked off their campaign against England in Doha on Monday, and their fans turned up in the tens of thousands, by far outnumbering England fans, with much less distance to travel to be present in Qatar.

Though, fans and players did not participate in the singing of their national anthem. Players remained silent as the anthem played, while supporters in the stands booed and whistled en masse in the stands.

There is unrest in Iran currently, with many unhappy with the current regime. Large protests have broken out around the country, and it has been reported that a Tehran court has already sentenced some protestors to death. Reports have claimed more than 20 are facing similar charges.

Amid the arrest, travelling support and players have decided to make their voice heard upon the playing of the anthem.

Speaking recently, Iran boss and former Manchester United asistant Carlos Queroz said players were ‘free to protest’ during this World Cup.

“The players are free to protest as they would if they were from any other country, as long as it conforms with the World Cup regulations and is in the spirit of the game,” he said. “But you can also express yourself on the field in the game of football and the players have only one thing on their mind and that is to fight to qualify for the second round.”

Players did not boo or whistle, but those who were shown on camera stayed silent. One Iranian fan in the crowd appeared to have tears of pride streaming down her face during the moment. Iran fans went on to provide a raucous support for their side during the game.