Some fans in Iran confiscated Persian pre-revolutionary Iranian flags from supporters entering the stadium and heckled those wearing shirts with the country’s protest movement’s slogan: “Women, life, freedom.”
Iran’s players sang during the playing of their national anthem, despite not having sung it at their opening game earlier this week in an apparent show of support for the protesters back home.
Iranian supporters heard loud jeers when the national anthem was played, and the team continued to sing quietly.
Iranian authorities have responded with lethal force to suppress protests that erupted in September following the death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest for wearing a headscarf improperly.
Small groups of men angrily chanted “Islamic Republic of Iran” at women giving interviews about the protest to foreign media.
Several female fans were visibly shaken as supporters of the Iranian government surrounded them with national flags and filmed them on their phones.
Screams broke out outside the security checkpoint at Al Rayyan’s Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, with fans chanting “women, life, freedom” and others chanting against the “Islamic Republic”.
Some anti-government fans wave signs in support of the protest movement in the first match against Iran England earlier this week, in which they lost 6–2.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.