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Iran Players Can Protest at World Cup Says Coach Queiroz

November 15, 2022 Iran coach Carlos Queiroz during a press conference REUTERS
November 15, 2022 Iran coach Carlos Queiroz during a press conference REUTERS

Iran’s players are free to join in the protests sweeping their country over women’s rights while they are playing at the World Cup in Qatar but must do so within the rules of the tournament, national team coach Carlos Queiroz said on Tuesday.

The rights activist HRANA news agency said 344 people have been killed and 15,280 arrested over the last two months of nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police.

Iran said her death was due to pre-existing conditions and accused its enemies of fomenting the unrest to destabilise the country. The demonstrations have turned into a legitimacy crisis for the clerical establishment, in power for over four decades.

Iran’s players covered up their national team badge when they played two warm-up internationals in September, which was interpreted as a sign of support for the protests.

But they have been heavily criticised on Twitter in the last few days for meeting with Iranian leaders before their departure for Doha, where they trained for the first time on Tuesday.

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