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What politics and protests mean for a World Cup in the Middle East

A woman stands on the tribune with her face painted in memory of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died while in police custody in Iran at the age of 22, prior to the World Cup group B soccer match between Wales and Iran, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan , Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (Frank Augstein/AP)
A woman stands on the tribune with her face painted in memory of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died while in police custody in Iran at the age of 22, prior to the World Cup group B soccer match between Wales and Iran, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan , Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (Frank Augstein/AP)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Men’s soccer team plays Iran at the World Cup. The winner will move ahead and the loser will go home.

There are of course political overtones to the match, especially as Iran is facing a crisis, with protests continuing for months after a woman was detained for allegedly wearing her headscarf incorrectly and died in police custody.

Here & Now‘s Scott Tong talks with James Montague, journalist and the author of the book “When Friday Comes: Football revolution in the Middle East and the road to the Qatar World Cup,” about soccer in the Middle East and what it reveals about societies there.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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