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January 31, 2023 10:39 am

Iran’s Women’s Futsal Team Refuses to Sing National Anthem at Championship in Uzbekistan


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Members of Iran’s women’s futsal team at 2023 CAFA Women’s Futsal Championship. Photo: Screenshot

Iran’s women’s futsal team refused to sing the Iranian national anthem that played after they defeated Uzbekistan 5-4 to win the 2023 Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) Women’s Futsal Championship on Monday.

The women of the Iranian futsal team locked arms and stood together as their country’s national anthem played in the background but instead of singing along to the melody as usual they simply stared straight ahead, as seen in videos shared on social media. The tournament for futsal — which is a soccer-based game that is played indoors on a hard court — was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from Jan. 25-30.

The move comes in the wake an act of Iran’s crackdown on anti-government protests in the country that started following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September, who died after being arrested by Iranian morality police for failing to wear a head covering. Hundreds of protesters have so far been killed, several by execution, for taking part in the protests while others have received lengthy jail sentences for their participation.

The Iranian women’s futsal team defeated Kyrgyzstan 5-0 and Tajikistan 16-0 earlier in the CAFA Women’s Futsal Championship, which they won last year as well.

Iran’s national men’s soccer team also refused to sing the country’s national anthem in November at the World Cup in Qatar.

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