Iran government supporters and opponents clash outside World Cup stadium

Tensions rose ahead of Iran’s second match at the World Cup when supporters of the Iranian government harassed anti-government protesters and stadium security confiscated protesters’ flags, T-shirts and other items. Fans carrying pre-revolution flags of Persia (modern Iran) were stopped by security at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium before the match against Wales. The supporters of the government of Iran snatched these flags from the hands of others and tore them.

He also hurled derogatory words at fans wearing T-shirts with slogans of ‘Women, Zindagi, Azadi’. In the first match against England, Iran’s players did not sing the national anthem in support of the protesters. He sang the national anthem today though. Three different women giving media interviews outside the stadium were surrounded by Iranian government supporters and interrupted the interview. They also raised slogans ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’.

Many of the women looked bewildered as the men spoke against them in Farsi and took close-up photos of them on their phones. One woman, Maryam, started crying because these people surrounded her and took pictures of her face. She had painted the slogan ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ on her face. Originally a citizen of Iran, Maryam now lives in London. “We want to raise awareness about the women’s rights movement. I didn’t come here to fight with anyone but these people are attacking me and calling me a terrorist. All I want to say is that football doesn’t matter if people are getting killed on the streets.

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