Iranian fans waving Persian flags were reportedly banned from entering the World Cup venue before the Iran vs. England game Monday as the flags are seen as a protest against the current Iranian government.
Similar to the Iranian flag, the Persian flag is characterized with green, white and red horizontal stripes. The Iranian flag, however, has an Islamic symbol and phrase in the center as opposed to the Persian flag’s depiction of a lion and a sun, The New York Times reported.
Iranian fans carrying the flag of Persia were barred from entering their country’s World Cup game against England on Monday unless they surrendered the flags, which are viewed as a symbol of protest against Iran’s theocratic government.https://t.co/FeIyn7SFYI
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 21, 2022
Fans weren’t the only ones attempting to voice their displeasure with the Iranian regime. In what appeared to be a show of solidarity with the protesters, Iran’s national soccer team remained silent as their national anthem played ahead of their game with England, Reuters reported.
Protests have rocked the country since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested and held by Iran’s morality police days earlier for refusing to wear a head scarf in September. As the Iranian theocratic regime has cracked down on protestors, it has only served to embolden more and more people to demand an “end to the country’s authoritarian clerical rule,” according to The New York Times. (RELATED: Iranian Regime Cracks Down As Protestors Wreak Havoc Across The Country)
What began as a protest over a woman’s death and by extension, women’s rights has morphed into an “eruption” demanding the end of a regime that “people no longer believe…is reformable,” director of Iranian studies at Stanford University Abbas Milani told CNN. “They want a different social contract without the clergy claiming divine right,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone in Iran is thinking too much about who is going to win the game. They’re thinking about who is going to win the country,” Shima Oliaee, the Iranian American creator of “Pink Card,” an audio documentary about Iranian women’s attempt to gain full access to soccer stadiums, told The New York Times.