US Removal Of Islamic Symbol On Iran’s Flag Sparks Outrage Ahead Of World Cup Clash
Iran has mounted pressure on FIFA to suspend the United States from the World Cup after the US Soccer Federation posted the flag of Iran without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.
The pressure is coming ahead of the decisive clash between both countries on Tuesday.
The US football body had shared a picture of the Iranian flag on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter temporarily in support of the protesters in Iran.
Both teams are in Group B in Qatar.
In reaction, the Iranian government accused America of removing the name of God from their national flag and called for FIFA to sack the USA out of the tournament with a 10-game ban from soccer.
“By posting a distorted image of the flag of the Islamic Republic of #Iran on its official account, the #US football team breached the @FIFAcom charter, for which a 10-game suspension is an appropriate penalty,” Iran state Tasnim news agency Tweeted.
The symbol was later returned to the flag on the USA’s website, THE WHISTLER can confirm.
Iran needs to draw to qualify for the next round of the competition, while the USA needs to win to advance into the last-16 in Qatar.
The US head coach Gregg Berhalter said the team “had no idea what US Soccer put out. The staff, the players, we had no idea … Our focus is on this match and I don’t want to sound aloof or not caring by saying that.
“Of course our thoughts are with the Iranian people, the whole country, the whole team, everyone. But our focus is on this match.”