Iran Threatens to Torture Players’ Families Ahead of USMNT Match, per Report

Iran Threatens to Torture Players’ Families Ahead of USMNT Match, per Report thumbnail

Iran has threatened families of players on the Iranian World Cup team with “violence and torture” if the players don’t “behave” in the match vs. the United States men’s national team on Tuesday, CNN’s Sam Kiley reports.

A World Cup security official told Kiley that Iran has “larger” security personnel watching the players’ behavior in Qatar. The source also stated that Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz met with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officials following the threats. However, it is not clear if this was the purpose of the meeting.

Prior the first World Cup match against England last week, the team did not sing along to the national anthem.

It was the team’s way of showing solidarity with protesters in Iran who were demonstrating against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died from injuries sustained in police custody after improperly wearing her headscarf. Since September, more than 450 people have been killed and more than 1,800 arrested for protesting, per the Human Rights Activists in Iran.

According to Kiley’s source, Iran first offered “presents and cars” to the players before the team’s game vs. England, but then resorted to threats following that game. Players sang along to their national anthem before Iran’s second World Cup match against Wales on Friday.

Kiley’s source also said that Iran sent actors to Qatar to show “a false sense of support and favor among fans,” and there are expected to be even more actors in attendance for Iran’s next match vs. the USMNT.

An Iranian media outlet called for the US to be removed from this World Cup match after the USMNT’s twitter account posted a stripped version of Iran’s flag.

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