Iran, ranked 20th in the world, had the pleasure of beginning its 2022 World Cup journey against England. The Iranians were sizable underdogs entering Monday’s match against the No. 5 team in the world, but their 6-2 loss was embarrassing.
Instead of simply accepting defeat and realizing Iran was an inferior opponent, Iranian newspapers are pinning the loss on “unfair psychological warfare” from protests taking place back home.
Protests in Iran began after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by the morality police in Tehran in September. Amini was arrested for not wearing her hijab properly.
The Associated Press translated two radical Iranian newspapers after the loss blaming anti-regime protesters for creating an atmosphere that was impossible for players to concentrate on the World Cup. One of those newspapers, Kayhan, claimed the team had faced “weeks of unfair and unprecedented psychological warfare against the team … from domestic and foreign-based traitors.”
“None of the players were ready in spirit,” another newspaper AP identified as “pro-reform.”
Iran Was Already Prepared For A Poor Start At The World Cup
The Iranian press pinning blame on ‘psychological warfare’ comes as no surprise given that government propagandists were already previewing a bad performance out of the team.
“Iranian players have been under tremendous psychological pressure the past few weeks amid a relentless campaign by hostile forces in the West to de-legitimize them and affect their morale ahead of the World Cup,” PressTV claimed. “They have been viciously trolled and abused online under a deep-rooted conspiracy.”
Earlier this week it was reported that almost 400 people have died, another half dozen have been sentenced to death, and over 15,000 people have been arrested during protests according to Iran Human Rights.