Prior to Tuesday’s World Cup warm-up match against Senegal, players on Iran’s national soccer team covered their country’s emblem during the national anthem.
Before the game, the entire Iranian team stood on the field in plain black jackets over their official uniforms. The group stood with their arms around one another, keeping the extra layer on until it was time to take the field for the game to begin.
The Iranian players’ action comes amid widespread protests in the country following the death of Mahsa Amini.
According to ESPN’s Mark Ogden, the 22-year-old woman died in police custody in Iran earlier this month after being charged with improperly wearing a headscarf.
According to The Associated Press, Amini’s death has sparked protests in Iran, with women seen removing and burning their state-mandated headscarves. After Iranian police said she died of a heart attack, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, said the circumstances of Amini’s death would be “steadfastly” investigated.
During last week’s international friendly between Iran and Uruguay, two men were seen holding a sign that said Amini was “murdered by the police of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Because the protesters refused to hand over the sign, police in Austria marched them out of the NV Arena.