Soccer Team Threatened : What Does This Mean For Iran?

Delaney Green, Staff Writer - The Mustang Messenger

Last weekend the members and families of Iran’s World Cup Soccer team were threatened by their national government. Through deeper inspection this turned out to be related to the current issues being faced within the country. So what exactly happened?

In silent protest of their ongoing governmental and national political issues, the team did not stand for the Iranian National Anthem at the previous soccer tournament on Nov 21. This caused them to be called to an IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) meeting very soon afterwards. Here they were told by the Guard Corps that if they protest again in any form they will face repercussions such as imprisonment and torture. This furthers the silencing of Iranian citizens fighting for freedom.


For the past few months protests and strike-backs have become more and more prevailing in Iran. These protests have been to speak up on a plethora of issues including the strict government, sexism, freedom, and many more. Their theocratic government is doing all it can to suppress and silence protestors, even resorting to lying to the public about their own actions. The soccer team has expressed that they support those protesting. The IRGC took this very seriously and took immediate action. According to CNN reporter Sam Kelley, Carlos Quelroz, coach of the team, stated, “There are a large number of Iranian security officers in Qatar collecting information and monitoring the players.”

McCracken Student Journalist Willow Burkholder was interviewed on the topic, discussing the ethical issues on the topic. She stated, “The government should definitely be more civil towards the peaceful protestors. It would be understandable if the citizens were violently striking back, but protestors being peaceful should be allowed to speak up about it. The IRGC seems to just aggressively want people to know they’re in charge.”