Iran media blames humiliating World Cup loss on protests

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Iran was reeling Tuesday from the humiliation of beginning the World Cup with a lopsided 6-2 loss in opposition to England in a match overshadowed by protests on and off the sector.

Exhausting-line Iranian media sought in charge the defeat on the unrest that has gripped the Islamic Republic because the Sept. 16 demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini within the custody of the nation’s morality police. Iranian newspapers turned to the acquainted tactic of accusing international enemies, together with the US, Britain and Israel, of stirring up protests to throw the nationwide group off its recreation.

“Iran – 2; England, Israel, Saudi and traitors – 6,” learn the headline in hard-line day by day Kayhan. The newspaper, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, mentioned Iran’s rout got here after “weeks of unfair and unprecedented psychological warfare in opposition to the group … from home and foreign-based traitors.” It added {that a} “political media present” has sought to “harm the spirit of Iran’s group by attacking them.”

Iran followers within the stands on Monday chanted Amini’s title, held indicators and wore T-shirts with protest slogans and booed in the course of the nationwide anthem. Many followers appeared conflicted over whether or not to even assist their nationwide group in opposition to the backdrop of safety forces’ violent crackdown on demonstrations. A minimum of 419 individuals have been killed because the protests erupted, in response to the watchdog Human Rights Activists in Iran. As the sport unfolded on Monday, Iranian safety forces unleashed heavy gunfire in opposition to protesters in a Kurdish city within the nation’s west.

See also  NASA Scientists Present Theory About Why We Haven't Met Other Intelligent Life. It's Crushing.

One other hard-line day by day, Vatanemrooz, reported that protesters in Iran celebrated their nation’s humiliating defeat within the streets, bursting into cheers in espresso retailers when England scored targets and honking automobile horns with pleasure after the sport. Footage from central Tehran unfold on-line exhibiting motorcycle drivers honking and chanting “Six!” in reference England’s six targets in opposition to Iran. Authorities shut down a espresso store within the northeastern metropolis of Mashhad for saying it was rooting for England.

“Not one of the gamers have been prepared in spirit,” wrote Iran’s pro-reform Shargh day by day.

The nationwide protest motion first targeted on Iran’s state-mandated hijab, or headband, for girls, however quickly morphed into requires the downfall of Iran’s ruling Shiite clerics. Over the course of the demonstrations, filmmakers, actors, sports activities stars and different celebrities have been talking out publicly in opposition to the federal government.

Iran’s nationwide group has come beneath monumental stress from protesters to indicate assist within the run-up to soccer’s international championship. The gamers confronted a barrage of public criticism final week after assembly with President Ebrahim Raisi at a send-off ceremony, the place they have been silent on the difficulty of protests. A number of gamers have been photographed bowing in respect to Raisi.

“So that you went to the president, that was the very best alternative to ask him to not kill youngsters and youngsters, on the very least!” outstanding Iranian actor Parviz Parastouei wrote on Instagram.

Earlier than the kick-off in opposition to England, Iranian gamers didn’t sing their anthem, standing silently in an obvious act of solidarity. Throughout the match they did not have fun the group’s two targets.

See also  Winning Powerball ticket sold in Altadena for record-breaking $2.04 billion jackpot

The gamers threat heavy backlash for making even the smallest gestures of protest. State-run IRNA information company has sought to advertise the group as a patriotic image and nationwide unifier amid the turmoil, describing the gamers as “troopers preventing to uplift their nation.”

Some former soccer stars who’ve championed the protest motion have been arrested or charged in absentia. Moslem Moein, the top of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s Our on-line world Group, known as out 4 of essentially the most vocal retired gamers, who reportedly refused invites to attend the World Cup as friends of the federal government.

“England’s forwards didn’t rating the targets,” he wrote, including that Iran’s defeat was the work of the outspoken former gamers, who protested off the pitch.


AP World Cup protection: and