You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Families Of World Cup Team Have Reportedly Been Threatened

The Spun 11/28/2022 Tzvi Machlin
31 March 2022, Qatar, Doha: Soccer: 2022 FIFA Congress. The official match ball "Al Rihla" ("the journey" in Arabic) for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar lies on the podium during a press conference after the Fifa Congress at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center (DECC). Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa (Photo by Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images) © Provided by The Spun 31 March 2022, Qatar, Doha: Soccer: 2022 FIFA Congress. The official match ball "Al Rihla" ("the journey" in Arabic) for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar lies on the podium during a press conference after the Fifa Congress at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center (DECC). Photo: Christian Charisius/dpa (Photo by Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Tomorrow marks the start of the third and final round of group stage games in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But for the players of one team, there's apparently the specter of serious consequences depending on their behavior this week.

According to CNN's Sam Kiley, the families of the Iran national football team players have been threatened with "imprisonment and torture" if the players use the World Cup stage to protest the Iranian regime. Iran's players refused to sing the country's national anthem at their opener against England.

Per the report, after their protest, the players were called to a "meeting" with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The players were reportedly 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 Iran national football team wound up singing the national anthem at their second game against Wales. But the report suggests that they are still being observed closely by the IRGC. 

CNN also reported that Iran has sent over "actor supporters" to give the impression that the regime has widespread support from fans.

Iranian state media, meanwhile, has called for the United States to be expelled from the World Cup over a tweet that displayed an improper version of the Iranian flag.

The game is clearly going to have much farther-reaching consequences than we all thought.

The USA vs. Iran game will be played at 2 p.m. ET and will air on FOX.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon