Soccer players on the Iranian national team made a statement against their government by refusing to sing the country's national anthem. It is the tradition in the World Cup to play the national anthems of both countries competing in a given match. It is also a tradition that the players sing along to the words of their national anthem with pride. However, the Iranian national team protested their government by refusing to sing their country's national anthem before a match with England. Fans cheered loudly, but the players refused to sing the words of their national anthem as it played out over the speakers at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. [tweet_embed]November 24, 2022[/tweet_embed] A lot of turmoil exists in Iran right now after a 22-year-old woman died in police custody after she was taken in for not following the strict dress code for women in the country. Protests have erupted throughout the country as a result of this situation. Many women have cut their hair and even burned their head coverings to honor the young woman who died. The Iranian parliament might be making things worse right now. They voted overwhelmingly in favor of the death penalty for protestors. Human rights groups keep an eye on the situation and say that more than 16,000 people have already been arrested for protesting in the country. Six of that number are already known to have received a death sentence for their actions. [tweet_embed]November 24, 2022[/tweet_embed] The media noted that the brave Iranian players might be putting a target on themselves by refusing to sing the national anthem. Not only could they be in trouble in their own country, but they are competing in Qatar, a friendly country to Iran. They could have trouble even where they are right now competing in the World Cup. The government of Qatar made it quite clear that all visitors are subject to local laws and could face penalties if they try to bring their values into the country. Many have pointed out the anti-LGBT and anti-alcohol stances of the government in Qatar and have been critical of it. However, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that Europeans should apologize for things they did in world history 3,000 years ago. A bizarre comment like this highlights the tension between hosting the games in a new place and having to follow local laws and customs that are so different from other parts of the world.