The decision came as a way of taking a stand against the oppressive regime in Tehran despite the risk of personal reprisals.
But the Iranian players did tentatively sing the anthem before their second game against Wales amid jeers and tears from fans.
During this World Cup, each country will have a guaranteed minimum three playings of their national anthem for the group stages before teams progress to the knockouts.
A source of national pride. Firer-up of troops and, more importantly for our purposes, footballers. Major employer of the planet's cymbals players. National anthems mean many things to many people: each and every one of them will be a source of curiosity and delight.
But we cannot all be winners. With that in mind, and with a highly scientific method of deciding which one has the biggest tune, the most powerful effect on the players, and the silliest trumpets, we have ranked them all ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Without further ado, other than possibly changing the locks, here goes...
They said it could not be done, but it turns out there is an anthem as funereal as Britain’s own. A trial, you could tell that the players were not pumped by it, mouthing along with the dirge dutifully.
Regrettable that any anthem has to come last, but there you have it. Sorry, Switzerland. Let’s focus instead on your beautiful scenery, admirable policy of neutrality and non-aggression and excellent flag.
Not even too sure what language this is supposed to be in, but then again nor is Belgium. Much like the team, this is less than the sum of its parts.
There seems to be an excessive number of clarinets in this clip, maybe the old buster in whose honour this was being held had ordered them in special. This was filmed at a presentation ceremony for the winner of Belgium’s Next Top Belgian.
We’ve heard a lot of this over recent years, and while you simply cannot fault the Spanish people for their football, their cuisine, their wine and their all around loveliness, the anthem is not a strong suit. Obvious fact that half the team regard it as a song of the oppressor doesn’t help.
Not, as was mistakenly previously announced by BT cricket presenter Matt Smith during the Ashes, “the national anthem of Australia, ‘Waltzing Matilda’” but, in fact, ‘Advance Australia Fair’.
A very fine anthem in its own right, but sadly too evocative of England getting pumped in the cricket to be heard without serious PTSD.
28. Saudi Arabia
Everybody’s, mmm, 28th favourite anthem. Smashing video, this.
27. South Korea
We know you'd be tempted to start busting a move to 'Gangnam Style' but, alas, it's a slightly different tune.
Beginning is reminiscent of Midnight Mass do-too-much standard ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’. Has a cheeky false ending about a minute in, which has no doubt mugged off plenty in the past. Nice slow, sweeping finale.
Sample lyric: “No traitors in Tunisia.” The Eagles of Carthage have not come to mess about.
Absolutely nothing wrong with the current version, which features the use of the triangle, among other quirks.
Seriously extraordinary business in the intro, sounds like it might be a James Taylor B-side, and then it’s like an opera performed by a French exchange student. It is, it hardly needs adding, all totally wonderful and fully deserving of our coveted Anthem Of Lions Chequebook And Pen.
A decent anthem.
A classic example of a Latin American anthem, the lyrics were first written by ex-president Juan León Mera who set the words to music a year later.
The verses of this anthem are marked by a strong anti-Spanish sentiment, with the lyrics referencing the failed 1809 uprising against Bonapartist Spain and the 1820-1822 War of Independence.
Given a ferocious belting at every opportunity by a deeply passionate support. Slow, chunky, hearty: like a thick soup in national anthem form.
Our host country's second attempt, the new anthem of Qatar came about in 1996 - after the accession of the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
First performed during a reception of Gulf Cooperative Council leaders, held in Qatar, it emphasises its strong historical connection between the residents of a modern nation state and their ancestors.
Stately, sophisticated, lyrical. Sounds like the incidental music from a tearjerking Japanimation film about a boy whose best friend is a delicate zephyr.
The anthem equivalent of having your leg humped by an excitable Boston Terrier, and that is meant in an entirely complimentary way.
A mixture of pulsatingly butch and delightfully playful. In order: slow, throbbing, urging. Then the whimsical woodwind with a call and response. Then a pause, then a build, then it all kicks off. Yes cymbals. This is your time to shine.
No wonder Maradona always looked so battered. Heady, intoxicating, almost overwhelming, like opening a second bottle of Malbec.
15. Costa Rica
They don’t have an army, they do have lots of spider monkeys, they’ve got lovely scenery, a really top flag, impossible to say enough good things about them as a country. Anthem comes at you like blunt force trauma, and is all the better for it.
Wales's national anthem, named "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (meaning 'Old Land of My Fathers') is the product of a father son duo, whereby Evan James wrote the lyrics for the anthem and his son James James composed the music.
The song's theme revolves around patriotism and unity, depicting the beauty of the land and a sense of freedom. Although not an official anthem by law, it is used as one and is sung at sporting events and governmental ceremonies.
Music was penned by Joseph Haydn, who was a top, top composer and, in terms of quality, one of the truly world class acts of the anthem game. Lyrics speak to an appropriately unshakeable self-confidence.
Trumpets, cymbals, a lovely, jolly sort of a thing. Puts you in the mind of having three cans of really strong, cold Polish lager and then a nice bit of sausage while sitting in a town square on a warm evening.
Not fancy, just really satisfying. Impossible not to like it, impossible not to like Poland as well.
One of several anthems inspired by sticking it to the English, was originally written as a protest song after the British threw their weight around regarding colonial Angola. Sorry about that, everyone. And sorry especially Angola, in all probability.
Best bit comes after the switch back out of the minor key when it belts out what sounds like “Attacker! Attacker!” Cristiano presumably thinks it is about him. Last bit: “against the cannons, march, march.” Woof! Everything about this anthem is good.
Sure, England might not be the most elegant or musical nation. Or the best at going on holiday. And the anthem is possibly on the sluggish side for universal acclaim.
But in honour of the new King, Charles III, we've ranked this reasonably high on the list - plus, some of us quite like our anthem, okay?
Excellent opening bit, very cinematic, sounds like the beginnings of an epic battle, or possibly someone being chased across a sweeping landscape by villainous horse-riding types. Then plenty of cutlery, evocative chromatics, and a powerful sense of being somewhere quite hot. Seems to juice the Morocco team up nicely.
Lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner" stem from a poem called "Defence of Fort M'Henry" which was set to the tune of popular British song "To Anacreon in Heaven".
Although the epitome of patriotism, it's notoriously tricky to sing, due its range of 19 semitones - so it's been included in the top 10 but had to have a few points knocked off.
What a country, what a people, what a football team. Unmistakable cheeky opener, impish and Ronaldinho-esque, before getting into the meat and drink. “A giant by thine own nature… Thou art a beautiful, strong and intrepid colossus,” it says, and who can dispute that of this footballing nation of nations.
Ghana's national anthem's lyrics are centred around the right to freedom and resisting any oppressive force. It expresses the strength and courage needed to defend the opposition - but ultimately remains easy to sing so it's a double tick from us.
A triumphantly-toned tune, the current melody of the piece has been slowed down since its original form back in 1574. Perfectly paced for church-goings and, indeed, sporting events - where it is reduced to the first verse (or sometimes the sixth, as well) to avoid a 15 minute-long ode amid the kick-about.
A few places ahead of the States, purely based on Canadians' reputations superseding that of Americans' (we joke, we joke), Canada's national anthem is often mixed up with English and French lyrics to represent the country's linguistic duality.
A study commissioned by meditation app Calm revealed that the Sleep Research Laboratory at Northumbria University found that the Canadian national anthem is one of the most spirited and lively in the world. Perfect for chanting at a football match, then.
Has a nice busy section in the middle where a piccolo takes flight. A glorious, confusing soup of sounds with a cheeky loud-soft intro which calls to mind being yapped at by an excitable chihuahua. Midfielder Miguel Layun said the passion with which the fans sang it has inspired the lads, giving them goosebumps (trans: "la piel de gallina"). A tremendous anthem befitting a team who have been winning a lot of hearts.
Cameroon's rallying chant symbolizes the dreams and aspirations of Cameroonians as citizens of an independent Republic.
It is full of pomp and circumstance with its orchestra comprising of various percussion instruments, flutes and horns - all performing in an upbeat tempo.
Pound-for-pound, this anthem is as good as it gets. The original, and much imitated, European ‘march’ style has not been bettered. Is about courage and defiance in defending one’s nation against invaders, fighting to the last breath and very possibly shrugging at them in quite a diffident manner.
It makes you want to grab a placard and a Gitanes just hearing it. The musical embodiment of a cockerel strutting around looking pleased with itself, and why wouldn’t it? Only conceivable way it could be improved is with a Daft Punk remix, and as that seems not likely, we are delighted to crown it the King and Queen of all the Anthems.
This article is kept updated with the latest information.