Iran stand with protesters as England and Wales bow to Fifa over armbands | World Cup 2022

England have never enjoyed an opening World Cup match like this. Six goals, and a performance soaked in exuberance and enticing possibilities, laid down an early marker for the next four weeks in Qatar. Yet this game will surely be remembered for something else entirely: the remarkable sight of Iran’s players refusing to sing the national anthem in a gesture of solidarity with oppressed women and protestors back home.

As the anthem rang out across the Khalifa International Stadium, Iran’s players pursed lips, bowed heads and locked shoulders. Their 1,000-yard stares told you something…


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