Families of Iran’s World Cup soccer team are on edge after they were reportedly threatened with “imprisonment and torture” if the players on the team decide they want to use the World Cup stage to protest the Iranian regime. Many of the players have already refused to sing the country’s national anthem at their opener against England.
According to CNN’s Sam Kiley, following their National Anthem protest, players were called to a “meeting” with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and informed that their families would face “violence and torture” if they refused to sing the national anthem a second time or joined in any protest against the government.
The players listened and were seen singing the national anthem at their second game against Wales. However, the report added that they are all still being monitored very closely by the IRGC.
“There are a large number of Iranian security officers in Qatar collecting information and monitoring the players,” the source said.
During the game where they sang the Anthem, they would go on to win 2-0.
CNN Added that Iran has actually sent over “actor supporters” to give the impression that the regime has widespread support from fans.
Meantime, Iranian media wants the United States to be expelled from the World Cup over a tweet that displayed an improper version of the Iranian flag. That won’t be happening, but they will get their chance to get revenge when they play against each other at 2 p.m. ET.