Iran protesters confronted at World Cup game

Confrontations between pro-Iran government fans and protesters broke out at the country's second World Cup match in Qatar on Friday, SİA reports citing BBC.

Some protesting fans said they had flags taken away from them while others were shouted at and harassed. Stadium security officials also confiscated T-shirts and other items displaying anti-government sentiments.

Protests have been sweeping Iran since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September. Ms Amini was arrested in Tehran by the morality police for allegedly not covering her hair properly and died in police custody three days later. The demonstrations spread across the country with people demanding changes such as more freedoms or an overthrow of the state, and the government has responded with a deadly crackdown.

On Friday - at Iran's World Cup game against Wales - some protesters had Persian pre-revolutionary flags snatched from them by pro-government fans at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Insults were also reportedly hurled at some people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words "woman, life, freedom" - a phrase that has become a rallying cry among protesters against Iran's authorities.

One Iranian spectator alleged that Qatari police ordered her to wash off the names of protesters killed by Iran's security forces from her arms and chest after pro-government fans complained. Another woman said she was prevented from wearing a T-shirt with Ms Amini's face in the stadium.

Women giving interviews to foreign press about the protests were also seen being harried by at least one group of men. Some used their mobiles to film the women who were also subjected to verbal attacks and the men loudly chanting: "The Islamic Republic of Iran". The match itself, which Iran won 2-0 against Wales, saw Iranian players booed and whistled at as they sang the country's national anthem before kick-off. At their earlier game against England on Monday, the players remained silent during the anthem in an apparent expression of support for anti-government protests.

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