The United States Soccer Federation altered Iran’s flag on its social media channels to demonstrate support for Iranian demonstrators, prompting calls for the U.S. to be expelled from the 2022 World Cup on official Iranian television.
The federation has momentarily removed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag from its official Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles. The Iranian flag, consisting of its green, white, and red colors, was depicted in a now-deleted image of the Group B standings posted on Saturday.
On Sunday, U.S. Soccer told CNN that it had always intended to return to the original flag after changing it for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
U.S. Soccer informed CNN that the modification “was a one-time graphic.” “Our website and other sites have the main flag.” In addition, the logo is repositioned on the flag on U.S. Soccer’s social media outlets.
U.S. Soccer’s decision to change the flag of Iran on its social media accounts in support of Iranian demonstrators was not made in consultation with the State Department, a representative for the sporting organization said CNN.
According to official Iranian media, the United States should be immediately disqualified from the competition and suspended for ten games for using a “distorted representation” of the national flag.
“A 10-game suspension is the proper punishment” for the # U.S. football team’s violation of the @FIFAcom code, according to Iran’s state-affiliated Tasnim news agency, which posted the distorted image of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag on its official account on Sunday. “Team #USA should be disqualified from the 2022 World Cup.” ‘
Tuesday’s encounter in Group B between Iran and the U.S. is critical. If the U.S. wants to advance to the knockout rounds, they must win this match.
Flaring Tempers In Iran
Iran is competing in this World Cup despite internal unrest. However, Volker Turk, the head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has stated that the nation is experiencing a “full-fledged human rights catastrophe” due to the authorities’ crackdown on anti-regime dissidents.
Experts see recent protests and violence in Iran as the most serious since the formation of clerical authority during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. They threaten the fundamental foundation of the country’s government, which has ruled for more than 40 years.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died after being imprisoned by Iran’s morality police, purportedly for failing to adhere to the nation’s conservative clothing code, which served as the event’s catalyst.
The current dispute follows a day of problems before the two sides’ Group B matchup at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
The decision by U.S. Soccer was made on the same day that Jurgen Klinsmann, the former head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT), claimed he would try to talk to Carlos Queiroz, the manager of Iran, to “cool things down” after his remarks against Iran’s culture were labeled “outrageous remarks.”
On the eve of a pivotal World Cup match between the two nations, Iranian media interrogated the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team Gregg Berhalter and midfielder Tyler Adams at an extraordinarily politicized and frequently ridiculous news conference.
At the Qatar National Convention Center, queries about U.S.-Iran ties and U.S. Soccer’s change of the Iranian flag in social media visuals seemed to aggravate Berhalter.
He repeatedly asserted that he and the players “had no awareness of what U.S. Soccer put out,” which the federation said was a statement in favor of the Iranian women’s rights movement and which it later removed in the face of criticism. “All we can do, on our behalf, is apologize on behalf of the players and the staff,” Berhalter remarked at one point.
But no matter what he said or how frequently he dodged queries about politics by responding, “I’m a soccer coach,” at one point, the inquiries persisted.
The players and staff were completely unaware of what was being posted, Berhalter insisted. “Sometimes, circumstances are beyond our control.”
The outcome would depend on what occurred on the field, not off, continued Berhalter.
As of now, the match will continue as expected. The group stage match will occur tomorrow at 1:00 pm CST and will be available on Fox Sports 1 and Telemundo Deportes.
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