PA Iran manager Carlos Queiroz.
# Reaction
Manager Queiroz says protesting Iran fans 'should stay at home'
Iran fans jeered during the national anthem ahead of today’s defeat to England, which the manager took as an attack on his players.

IRAN MANAGER CARLOS Queiroz has said the fans who jeered and drowned out their national anthem ahead of today’s 6-2 defeat to England are not welcome at the World Cup. 

The Iranian players did not sing their national anthem, as the country roils to protests which have been met with a brutal crackdown from the ruling regime. They arrived to the tournament to questions back home as to whether they represent the regime or those protesting against it, but as the players stood silent during the anthem, the Iranian fans jeered and drowned out the anthem. 

Queiroz has been placed in a delicate position with Iran – reportedly facing political pressure to exclude captain Sardar Azmoun for speaking out against the regime, which he has rebuffed – but interpreted the fans’ pre-game jeers as an attack on his players rather than the country’s political regime. 

The Iranian fans cheered the players loudly during the game, greeting both of the Iranian goals with jubilation. There was also an unmistakable protest in the crowd when fans unfurled a banner reading ‘Woman Life Freedom.’ 

“In 2014 and 2018 we had full support from the fans but you saw what happened today,” said Queiroz. “If the fans do not want to support the team they should stay home. Why do they come here to be against the team? To have fans that only support the team when they are winning, we don’t need that.”

“You don’t even imagine, you don’t even know, behind the scenes what these kids are living these last few days just to play football. They want to play football.” 

Queiroz also confirmed goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand  “suffered a serious concussion” in a first-half collision, with which he attempted to carry on playing. He has gone to hospital for tests. 

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