The massive public protests that have raged across Iran since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the morality police in September arrived at the World Cup.

Ahead of its 6-2 loss to England last month, the Iranian team refused to sing the Islamic Republic’s national anthem, with some activists in attendance waving protest signs and booing the team for not quitting the tournament altogether in a show of solidarity toward the hundreds of young Iranians killed during the past 10 weeks.

Football is by far Iran’s favorite sport. So, for Iranians to turn against their national team, especially one that had topped the Asian qualifiers, speaks to the deep wound that the protests have etched on the country’s psyche. As the movement has grown and protests spread from Tehran to the provinces, protesters have broadened their demands. Their call for an end to harassment by the morality police soon hardened into chants of “death to the dictator,” referring to 83-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.