Iran’s national men’s soccer team refused to sing the country’s national anthem at the World Cup in Qatar on Monday.
The team stood during the anthem before their opening match against England, but instead of singing the words, as is traditional, the players stared straight ahead.
It appears the reason for this is a protest by the players against the Iranian government, amid the crackdown on demonstrators protesting the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amin.
Earlier, Iranian captain Ehsan Hajsafi acknowledged widespread dissatisfaction at home.
“We have to accept that the situation in our country is not good and that our people are not happy, they are discontent,” Hajsafi said at a press conference, according to CNBC. “We are here, but it does not mean we should not be their voice or that we should not respect them. Whatever we have is theirs.”
“We have to perform the best we can and score goals and dedicate those goals to the people of Iran who are feeling hurt,” he added.