The nation have been drawn into a difficult Group B

Despite regime critics, Iran has confirmed their 26-man team for the 2022 World Cup. Head coach Carlos Queiroz did not attend a news conference to reveal the squad, instead confirming them through a release on the Iranian federation’s official site.

The story begins with Iran’s police violent murder of Mahsa Amini in September, which prompted public indignation and caused in massive protests throughout the country, as well as several Iranian players voicing their support for Mahsa Amini.

The police abuse and oppression have been extremely severe. According to one of Iran’s players, Sardar Amoun, who plays for Bayern Leverkusen. As a result of their outspokenness, the Iranian authorities put pressure on head coach Carlos Queiroz to exclude Azmoun and other players who have opposed the government and their leadership.

This spurred the Ukrainian national football team to petition FIFA to exclude Iran from the World Cup, citing human rights violations and the transfer of drones to Russia.

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During the national anthem, the players rebelled by wearing black coats that covered the nation’s colour and badge. Omid Noorafkan, Milad Sarlak, Mohammadrez Akhbari, and Saman Fallah were among those who condemned the current authoritarian system.

Amid the outcry, Queiroz has named a 26-man squad, and Iran are seeded in Group B alongside the United States, Wales, and England.

On November 21, they will meet the United States in the World Cup.

Iran 26-man squad ahead of World Cup

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan).

Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al Ahli), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al Ahli), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal).

Midfielders: Ahmad Noorollahi (Shabab Al Ahli), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Ali Karimi (Kayserispor).

Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (Omonia Nicosia), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Mehdi Taremi (Porto).

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