Soccer  

World Cup: Iran boss Carlos Queiroz says players ‘free to protest’

Carlos Queiroz
Iran will face England, Wales and the USA in Group B at the World Cup
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Iran manager Carlos Queiroz says his players are “free to protest” over women’s rights in their home country, while they are at the World Cup.

Iran’s leaders say the protests are “riots” orchestrated by the country’s foreign enemies.

At least 326 protesters, including 43 children and 25 women, have been killed in a violent crackdown by security forces, according to Iran Human Rights.

Queiroz says any protests by his players must “conform” with the World Cup regulations.

Iran’s players covered up their national team badge when they played two warm-up internationals in September.

“The players are free to protest as they would if they were from any other country, as long as it conforms with the World Cup regulations and is in the spirit of the game,” Queiroz said.

“But you can also express yourself on the field in the game of football and the players have only one thing on their mind and that is to fight to qualify for the second round.”

Iran begin their Group B campaign against England at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.