Iranian female supporters claim they are ‘being spied on by government officials’ at the Qatar World Cup after staging controversial stadium protests in support of Mahsa Amini
Female Iranian football supporters fear they are being followed by ‘government spies’ inside stadiums at the Qatar World Cup.
Women attending the World Cup have reported recognising members in the crowd taking pictures and keeping track of supporters with binoculars as civil unrest continues to grow back home in Iran.
Women are being persecuted in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the weeks building up to the tournament.
She died while in police custody for allegedly breaking strict Islamic rules on wearing the hijab.
Protests erupted across the country as the Islamic Republic’s morality police were criticised for not protecting the woman’s welfare.
The government came under heavy fire from members of the public, including Iran stars featuring at the World Cup who refused to sing the national anthem.
Worrying troubles now appear to have followed female supporters to the nearby nation of Qatar as ‘spy’ complaints were first revealed by The Athletic.
There are a number of female supporters of the country in Qatar for the World Cup
There have been protests and demonstrations over the death of Mahsa Amini
One concerned fan told how she had seen a man with binoculars keeping track on supporters in the crowd rather than turning his attention to the action on the pitch.
Another complainant described a gentleman apparently filming a group of women in hijabs as he moved around the stadium at different intervals during Iran’s opening defeat against England.
Human rights activists believe the Iranian government has purposely sent officials to keep track of woman attending matches in Qatar, with many supporters expecting to be punished upon return to their home nation.
FIFA’s Human Rights Grievance Procedure has so far been inundated with complaints against the stadium spotters as the recognised professional body promised to assign an ‘independent expert assessor’.
Some Iranian women are fearful about the repercussions when they get back home
Iran take on USA in their final group match on Tuesday with tensions high between the two nations heading into the encounter.
Supporters have so far used matches against Wales and England to stage anti-Iran protests with the national anthem booed by supporters at both matches.
Iranian journalists hijacked team USA’s press conference with political questions on Monday afternoon as US coach Gregg Berhalter and his captain Tyler Adams were hassled about political issues and racism within America.