According to a report by CNN, the family members of Iran’s World Cup soccer players have been blackmailed with potential imprisonment and torture if the team fails to “behave” ahead of the game against the USMNT on Tuesday.
Iran squad angered its government with anthem protest
Iran’s protest in its initial game against England, which was subtle but also spoke volumes, consisted of refusing to sing along with the country’s national anthem. A stark contrast with the England side it faced, which belted the words to God Save the Queen at the Khalifa International Stadium.
A security source informed CNN that Iran’s players were called afterwards to a meeting with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
According to that source, they were informed that their families would face “violence and and torture” if they did not sing the anthem or joined any protest against the Tehran regime.
The players gave in to the threats when they faced Wales
The threats clearly worked, as all players who lined up in Iran’s victory against Wales the next game sang the nation’s anthem. An event which, barring any surprise, will likely once again occur in the Middle Eastern country’s pivotal match and the United States.
Iran, which is just across the Persian Gulf from Qatar, has had ease in sending government agents into Qatari grounds during the WC. “There are a large number of Iranian security officers in Qatar collecting information and monitoring the players,” the source told CNN.
Iranian regime-supporting actors will be in stands against USA
Not only that, but apparently a large contingent of actors had been sent to the world’s largest sporting event to pose as regime-supporting actors against Wales. And there will be even more for the game against the USMNT at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
“In the last game against Wales, the regime sent over hundreds of these actor supporters in order to create a false sense of support and favor amongst the fans. For the next game against the U.S, the regime is planning to significantly increase the number of actors into the thousands”.