A few hours before the match between the United States and Iran, it is a publication that will put a coin in the machine of the extra-sporting rivalry between the two countries, which has again made headlines in recent days. approaching the meeting. This Monday evening, the American media CNN revealed that the families of the players of the Iranian football team would have been threatened by the army if they did not “behave well”.
“Following the Iranian players’ refusal to sing the national anthem in the opening match against England on November 21, a source close to team security said the players were called to a meeting with members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), writes CNN. The source said they were told their families would suffer “violence and torture” if they did not sing the national anthem or join any political protest against the regime in Tehran. »
Iranian security agents in Qatar and “fake” supporters
The matches of the Iranian team in this World Cup, until that of this Tuesday evening which has not yet been played, have all been marked by the political situation that the country is currently experiencing. During the first meeting, against England, the players of “Team Melli” showed their support for the revolutionaries by not singing the national anthem. During the second, against Wales, the images of supporters in tears during the anthem, sung this time by the players, had marked the world, while a supporter was expelled from the stadium for having brandished a jersey flocked with the name of Mahsa Amini. The day after the Iranians’ success on the ground, 709 detainees were released from the country’s prisons.
The source quoted by CNN claims that the Iranian regime also has a grip on what is unfolding in Qatar. “There are a large number of Iranian security agents in Qatar who collect information and monitor the players,” she said. In the last game against Wales, the regime sent in hundreds of these fan actors in order to create a false sense of support and fervor among the fans. For the next game against the United States, the regime plans to significantly increase the number of players, up to several thousand. »
This Tuesday evening’s match between Iran and the United States had started on the diplomatic field a few days ago, with two big controversies: the publication of a graphic with a modified Iranian flag on the official Twitter account of the American national team, and remarks made by former American coach Jürgen Klinsmann which caused a strong reaction.