Iran women football
The 2023 Women's World Cup will be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. AFP

On Wednesday, July 5, the Brazil women's football team arrived in Australia, in preparation for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

The national team's plane landed in Brisbane, with the words: "No woman should be forced to cover her head" and "No man should be hanged for saying this" pasted on the body of the aircraft. The tail of the team's plane was also branded with the faces of Mahsa Amini and Amir Nasr Azadani.

In September 2022, Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran's morality police for refusing to cover her hair in public. Only hours after her arrest, it was reported that Mahsa Amini slipped into a coma and was taken to hospital. Three days after her arrest, Mahsa Amini died.

The authorities in Iran claimed that Mahsa Amini's death was caused by a heart attack, but there are contradictions that accuse the police of beating the 22-year-old into a coma while she was in custody. At the time of her death, it was recorded that Mahsa Amini had bruises on her body.

Mahsa Amini's death sparked the 'Women, Life, Freedom' movement protests that call for the equal rights of women and girls in Iran.

Amir Nasr Azadani is a former professional Iranian footballer who was sentenced to 26 years in prison after he was accused of being involved with the murder of three Basij officers during one of the several 'Women, Life, Freedom' protests in Iran.

The Basij Resistance Force is a paramilitary organisation that operates under the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

It was originally reported that Amir Nasr Azadani received the death penalty, and would be hanged for his alleged involvement. However, after his case went viral and met much criticism, the decision was overturned.

The 26-year-old former footballer is currently facing 16 years imprisonment for "mohrabe", which roughly translates to "partaking in enmity against God".

Members of Amir Nasr Azadani's family have been ordered to stay silent, and local reports suggest that his confession to the murder was coerced.

The team's plane landed in Brisbane, branded with the faces of Mahsa Amini and Amir Nasr Azadani.

The clear statement that shows the Brazil team supporting the women in Iran, comes after FIFA restricted the players from displaying armbands that commended equal rights and the LGBTQ+ community.

During the 2022 FIFA Men's World Cup, which was held in Qatar, national teams could be punished for wearing rainbow "One Love" armbands and shirts. FIFA proposed that the team players and fans wore "no discrimination" merchandise instead.

The Women's World Cup is set to kick off on Thursday 20 July and is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

In 2007, Brazil finished as runners-up in the Women's World Cup –the closest that they have been to victory. The line-up for Brazil's national women's team includes Debinha and Marta Vieira da Silva.

Marta Vieira da Silva is Brazil's all-time leading scorer, with 117 goals, and made her World Cup debut in 2003.

Marta Vieira da Silva, who is also often regarded as the greatest female footballer of all time, recently confirmed that this will be her sixth and final Women's World Cup.

Marta Vieira da Silva told reporters in Brazil: "Yes, it will be my last World Cup. We have to understand that a time comes for us to prioritise other things."

"I just have to be thankful to have lived all those years in the national team. To have the opportunity to go to another World Cup, a sixth one, for me is something surreal", the 37-year-old added.

Unfortunately, since she is still recovering from an ACL injury, Coach Pia Sundhage announced that Marta Vieira da Silva will start the tournament on the bench.

Recently, in April 2023, the Brazil women's team took to Wembley to compete with the England Lionesses in the first-ever Women's Finalissima. The England Lionesses were victorious after Leah Williamson scored in the penalty shootout.

The Finalissima finished with a score of 4-2.