Iran players don't sing national anthem at Qatar World Cup opener
Led by captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh, the Iranian players stood impassively as their anthem rang out before their opening match of the tournament against England in the Qatari capital Doha.
Ahead of the game, Jahanbakhsh said the team would decide together whether or not to refuse to sing the anthem in solidarity with the nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on 16 September.
Amini, an Iranian of Kurdish origin, died three days after her arrest in Tehran over an alleged breach of Iran's dress code for women.
England's captain Harry Kane had been expected to wear a rainbow-themed armband for the match, but hours before kick-off, the English, German and five other European federations said they were abandoning the plan to wear the "One Love" insignia.
The seven teams said they felt they had no choice but to ditch the plan because of the risk their captains would be punished by football's world governing body.
"FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play," the federations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland said in a statement.
They said they had been prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations because they had "a strong commitment to wearing the armband".
"However, we cannot put our players in the situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play," they said.