On Tuesday, the US and Iran will be facing off in an important World Cup soccer match that will decide the fate of each team heading into the latter stages of the contest.
But, for the Iranian team, their behavior on the pitch could also determine the fate of their families as well.
CNN reported Monday that families of the Iranian team have “been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the players fail to “behave” in the lead-up to Tuesday’s game against the United States.
The report added that the Iranian players had to meet with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps after their demonstration before the game against England.
The news came after the team protested conditions under the Islamic regime in Tehran prior to another World Cup match.
The Iranian soccer team has supported the protesters. Before the game against England, the soccer team stood silently for their home country’s national anthem, declining to sing along.
“Conditions in our country are not right, and our people are not happy,” Iranian team captain Ehsan Hajsafi told reporters after the game. Hajsafi further said that the victims’ families “should know that we are with them, we support them and we sympathize with them.”
Iran is said to be considering executing tens of thousands of protesters, many of whom are women and girls, who demonstrated against Islamic regime by removing their mandated head coverings and reclaiming their rights as modern human citizens.